Bond Quartet

Bond Quartet

Bond Quartet

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TANIA

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First Violin
Tania Davis hails from Sydney, Australia and is Bond’s first violinist. Tania was awarded several music scholarships and holds a Bachelor of Music degree with First Class Honours from the Sydney Conservatorium and a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance with Distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Prior to co-founding Bond and signing a contract with Decca/Universal, this virtuoso violinist, writer and producer performed with internationally acclaimed, award winning chamber groups and orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

EOS

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Second Violin

Bond co-founder Eos Counsell, from Cardiff, holds an honours degree from the Royal College of Music, where she won prizes for chamber music performance. Before signing to Universal, she worked with chamber groups dedicated to performing music by living composers. A singer, composer, arranger and producer in her own right, she has written for film and commercials, has played on many film scores, and recorded solo violin for several award winning national TV programmes. Eos has worked with artists including Sir Paul McCartney, Badly Drawn Boy, Tinie Tempah, The Cocteau Twins, The Blockheads, The Divine Comedy, Nitin Sawhney and Julian Cope. Eos coordinated, mentored and cast musicians for 2011 film Hunky Dory, starring Minnie Driver. Eos coached Benedict Cumberbatch’s violin playing role in Sherlock and she also performs the violin on the series and soundtrack. She coached Tom Hiddleston in Only lovers Left Alive.

ELSPETH

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Viola/5 string violin
Elspeth Hanson has enjoyed travelling the world since joining Bond. She famously performed with guitar legend, Jimmy Page, and Leona Lewis at the Beijing Olympics Closing Ceremony. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music, has played at the Proms with the National Youth Orchestra and has recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Prague Philharmonia. She played solo at the Paralympics Closing Ceremony and has performed at the Southbank alongside Annie Lennox, Beverley Knight and Ruby Wax for Oxfam Aid. Elspeth is a proud ambassador for the charity, Wooden Spoon.

GAY-YEE

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Cello
Gay-Yee Westerhoff, co-founder of Bond, is from Yorkshire, England, and is the quartet’s cellist. Gay-Yee holds an Honours degree in Music from Trinity College in London. Before Bond’s rise to fame after signing with Decca/Universal, Gay-Yee worked all over the world with groups including Primal Scream, the Spice Girls, Talvin Singh, Embrace, Sting, Bryan Adams and Barry Manilow. Gay-Yee is a prolific composer, arranger and producer and is currently working on several composing projects, including a musical with the legendary Don Black.

FULL BIOGRAPHY

THE ORIGINAL ELECTRIC STRING QUARTET

OVER 4 MILLION ALBUMS SOLD

THE BEST SELLING STRING QUARTET IN THE HISTORY OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

THE STRING QUARTET OF THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF THE OLYMPICS 2012

Together Tania Davis (Violin), Eos Counsell (violin), Elspeth Hanson (viola) and Gay-Yee Westerhoff (cello) complete the line-up of BOND.

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At its launch, BOND was hailed in the press as ‘the Spice Girls of Classical music’, and went onto turn the world of classical crossover music on its head, spawning many electric string groups inspired by its unique sound.

BOND draws its inspiration from classical, latin, folk, jazz, rock, pop, electro, Indian and middle eastern styles, has built a very active and loyal international fan base over the years and, since its debut, has sold over 4 million albums worldwide, making it the best-selling string quartet of all time.

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The musicians, educated to the highest standard at some of the world’s most celebrated music institutions (Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Guildhall and Trinity College of Music), are pure entertainment, serving up a genuinely genre-defying act willing to explore the joy of music regardless of the cultural hamstrings.

HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?

Four music college students decided to break with convention; the possibilities of using their own energetic and compelling approach to performance to become as dazzlingly contemporary and relevant as a pop act were impossible to resist. Perhaps a third way, somewhere between pop and classical, really did exist?  ‘In an orchestra, you are, to a large extent, fulfilling someone else’s creative vision,’ says Tania. ‘With what we do, we are the producers and the artists, directing the process.’

BOND was the first truly globally successful classical crossover group and certainly caused a lot of controversy at its debut. Within a week of its first album hitting number one on the classical charts, it was banned for ‘not being classical enough’.

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‘It started this huge debate about what constituted classical music,’ say Eos, ‘which was a good thing – at least our record label thought so because the story was everywhere! We found ourselves the subject of this international news story, which ran and ran, from the UK through Europe, to Australasia and America.’ ‘We weren’t that surprised. We’d written songs with pop producers and with that market in mind but we didn’t actually ever call ourselves classical,’ says Gay-Yee, ‘We set out to be popular and, in America, Billboard started a crossover classical chart which made sense and worked really well for us and stopped purist classical consumers getting too upset.’

It isn’t just the dizzying locations that have been afforded to Bond as a backdrop for their music that should be included in their history. With their recordings, BOND became the most successful classical crossover instrumentalists in the industry’s history. Because they have never been hampered by the restrictions of language, their highly energetic cross-pollination of pop and classical music has traversed the globe and they have achieved unprecedented platinum status in over 60 countries and topped the classical charts across the globe.

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For Gay-Yee, ‘being the first of this kind of group was exciting. It’s great to see quartets and groups coming through in the BOND format now and one of the most rewarding things is the constant feedback from students, teachers and kids who have engaged in string instruments through the use of our music.’ Says Elspeth, ‘BOND’s accessibility really helped many musicians and music students who didn’t have a strictly classical career in mind – there are still many musicians who crave the epic thrill of a huge orchestra, but if you look to different routes it certainly isn’t frowned upon any longer. There are more options now for classical musicians because of BOND.’

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