Catherine Rimer

Catherine Rimer

Catherine Rimer

“The pulse of the piece was drawn by the finely-etched continuo line of Catherine Rimer”  - The Times                        

Catherine Rimer is an experienced and versatile ‘cellist and teacher who performs internationally with leading ensembles on both period and modern instruments (throughout Europe, the USA, Mexico, Columbia, the Far East and Australia) accompanying world-class soloists. She has also played on numerous recordings of choral and orchestral masterpieces of the 18th/19th Centuries. 


She has been a member of Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique since 1996, playing co-principal on numerous projects from Purcell to Stravinsky including a Beethoven symphony cycle in Vienna Musikverein and much Berlioz (Les Troyens staged in Paris Châtelet, Symphonie Fantastique, Harold in Italy & Lélio in Carnegie Hall 2018, and most recently his opera Benvenuto Cellini at the BBC Proms, Berlin Philharmonie and Versailles.) She has also been a member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for over 20 years, playing guest principal on occasion, including Glyndebourne Opera Cup 2018; Bach's Matthew Passion Valetta Festival, Malta; Handel's Messiah in Durham Cathedral and the 'Pastoral' Symphony in BeethovenFest, Bonn. 


Other guest principal work this season has included 'Les Siècles' Debussy La Mer and Berlioz Anniversary programmes (at Hong Kong Arts Festival and a live webcast from Paris Philharmonie) and continuo for- a gala concert with Cecelia Bartoli and 'Les Musiciens du Prince' at the Salzburg Festival, "Farinelli & Friends".

Previous principal work includes concerts and recordings with Avison Ensemble, Classical Opera, Dunedin Consort, English Concert, English National Opera (Charpentier’s Medea, on bass violin), Ex Cathedra, Gabrieli Consort, Hanover Band, The King's Consort, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and she joined the section of Mahler Chamber Orchestra for Abbado’s live recording of Mozart Die Zauberflöte. 


Chamber music has always featured strongly. Catherine replaced the cellist in the Skampa Quartet on major European and American tours for six months and was a guest of the Eroica Quartet on several occasions.  She played with the Florin Ensemble for seven years, whose debut disc (featuring Mozart’s Divertimento K. 563) met with critical acclaim: 'a fine intense performance that bears witness to the mastery of the three players' - Gramophone. They commissioned “Itháka” a new work for string trio by the distinguished composer Hugh Wood, which was generously supported by grants from the Britten-Pears Foundation, the RVW Trust and the Swaledale Festival where they gave its world premiere, followed by a second performance in the Cheltenham Festival. She appeared in the OAE ‘Night Shift’ series with principal players in Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht in 2017 and returned with solo Bach in 2018. 


As soloist she has performed concerti by Haydn and the Beethoven 'Triple' (with Nadja Zwiener and Maggie Cole) at the St Ceceliatide Festival, London,  by John Garth with Avison Ensemble at Hexham Abbey Festival and Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the Exeter University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Gonski.


Catherine has taught at the Royal College of Music since 2003, as well as coaching externally for the Purcell School, Cambridge University and on Ithaca College's Exchange Program. She co-led a three-day Bach workshop for Gardiner's "Monteverdi Apprentice" Scheme in 2016 and she co-led a workshop on Verdi Requiem with colleagues from the ORR in 2018. Last year she was also invited to give Bach masterclasses at the Eastman School, NY and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and she was the continuo tutor for the Britten-Pears Young Artist's Programme course on Handel's Theodora at Snape Maltings.


She was born and raised in the North East of England and studied the cello with Emma Ferrand at the RNCM, Alexander Baillie at the RAM, Steven Doane at the Eastman School of Music, NY and with Steven Isserlis at Prussia Cove, with the aid of numerous scholarships. As an undergraduate she had inspiring chamber coaching from Eli Goren, William Pleeth and the Amadeus, Bartòk and Smetana Quartets. As a postgraduate in the U.S. she pursued a new interest in historical performance practice with Paul O’Dette, Christel Thielmann and Malcolm Bilson, winning the J.C. Graue Fellowship for her Master’s. Since returning to the UK she has enjoyed a busy freelance career and she was awarded the honorary 'ARAM' (for former students who have made a significant contribution to the music profession) in 2009.