Kimberley Lye – Director and Violinist
An accomplished violinist and pianist with a history of performing on stage at top classical venues (The Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Albert, RAM Duke’s Hall) and at famous London venues as one of Niche Quartet’s musicians (Kensington Palace, The US Embassy, Tower of London).
Kimberley dreamed of being a musician from the age of 8 and after playing violin for two months! As a student she was awarded a fine instrument loan and was appointed leader of the Hertfordshire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra. Simultaneously, she led four other top orchestras of Hertfordshire, touring Barcelona and playing solo in Barcelona Cathedral and RAM Duke’s Hall. Upon leaving for university she was awarded the most promising musician award and won the Joe Selo Ensemble Competition leading ‘The Cabaret Quartet’.
Going on to study at RHUL with double scholarships she graduated with a BMus(Hons) degree, specialising in solo performance (taught at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama by Prof. Mark Knight), and quartet performance. Kimberley has spent the last year expanding her violin playing, being commissioned to record for worldwide TV and performing at many live venues and looks forward to performing with Niche throughout the year.
Kimberley runs the all the Niche Quartet bookings and scheduling, using her vast enthusiasm, experience and highly organised nature to craft over 500 Niche London String Quartet performances – your booking will be looked after by her from start to finish ensuring an excellent personalised service alongside the top quality music. She is a full time professional musician and also runs www.youreventmusic.co.uk where you can hire a full range of brilliant event musicians for wedding music, corporate entertainment and private events.
Antonia began playing the violin at age 3 as a Suzuki student, then going on to study at The School for Strings in New York City. When she returned to the UK she attended Trinity College of Music London for Junior and Senior musicians studying under Robert Turrell, renowned for his orchestral and chamber work.
After leaving music college Antonia is a busy and successful recording artist working with all the major record labels -EMI, SONY BMG, Warner – for many artists (Ravi Shankar & George Harrison amongst many others) and is regularly heard as a violinist with artists on BBC Radio 2, 4 & 6. She appears on many TV programmes – such as Jools Holland, X Factor (with Tom Jones, Leona Lewis etc) and has been touring with bands (Duran Duran, Madness) and travelled the world on the World Tours of The Gorillaz, Mark Ronson to name a few. Antonia is delighted to be a part of Niche London String Quartet and is looking forward to a busy year!
Stella Page – Viola, Violinist & Cellist
Stella began playing the violin aged 7 and soon developed a love of the viola too. On receiving a scholarship aged 12 she attended Trinity College of Musicians where she studied in the junior department under Robert Turrell, an exceptional teacher and conductor of many chamber ensembles. Stella performed Vaughan Williams’ suite for viola and orchestra at St. Johns Smiths Square. Aged 17 she was one of the youngest British performers to master the moto perpetuo.
Stella also sings and plays piano, guitar, drums and cello, enjoying a successful career in the pop music industry as well as the classical field. She has travelled the world playing with bands such as Elbow, Damon Albarn, Mark Ronson and Gorillaz to name a few and also finds time to arrange string music for artists including Olly Murs, The Cinematic Orchestra, Leona Lewis and Robbie Williams. Stella is a unique multi-talented and gifted musician and is thrilled to be performing with Niche London String Quartet.
Sam Kennedy – Violin & Viola
Multi-talented Sam Kennedy studied Music at Clare College, Cambridge and completed a postgraduate Diploma in performance at the Royal Northern College of Music. He studied violin with Howard Davis and Arisa Fujita and viola with Asdis Valdimarsdottir while also holding a place in the National Youth Orchestra.
Sam has travelled the world performing on violin and viola and is a member of the Symphonie Atlantique and ancient classical performance specialists the Eliot Quartet alongside Niche London String Quartet . As a freelance musician in high demand Sam has toured with Elbow and played with Lana Del Rey, Alison Moyet, Belle and Sebastian, Tom Chaplin, Peabo Bryson and Beverley Knight. Sam loves performing with Niche Quartet and Trio as it gives him the opportunity to use his specialist skills and vast experience in both the genres of classical and pop music both at the same time!
Flora Allison – Cello
Flora Allison grew up in Farnham, Surrey and began playing the cello at the of age 7. From early in her playing she was regularly performing in competitions, recitals, orchestral concerts and tours.
Since graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Flora has had many memorable professional engagements including performing at the Montreaux Jazz Festival and at venues in Seoul, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and the U.S. As part of Niche London String Quartet she has performed on BBC TV’s One Show, for glamorous film premieres and performed in Paris for a famous national newspaper event!
Rupert Gillett – Cello
Rupert is a very busy London multi-talented musician, specialising in cello and double bass performances. The multi-instrumentalist is in high demand for event and session work, as well as playing regularly with a number of ensembles such as Dai & the Ramblers and The London Klezmer Quartet alongside his Niche London String Quartet performances. He has performed in large scale events such as The Paralympics & The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, and has performed for corporate clients such as Amazon, Boots, Dunhill & Belvedere.
Rupert has also performed to celebrity clients, including Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Joe Wright, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jude Law, Nigel Planer (The Young Ones), Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd), Jeremy Clarkson. He has featured live on BBC Radio London and BBC 6 Music with his own band Kuma Lisa, as well as having performed live on BBC Radio 3, BBC 6 Music and BBC 2 television. He has performed as part of Niche String Quartet for 5 years now and looks forward to the next 5 years!
Friends of Niche:
We also have trusted musicians who we all work with frequently within our other projects that will kindly cover if one of us happens to be unavailable for any event. These musicians have similar grounded history of working in the best venues across the world and match our style and work ethic perfectly.
Krisztina Kiss – Violin and Viola
Initially starting as a violinist at the age of nine in Hungary, after years of experience in many orchestras and ensembles Krisztina changed to become a violist. While working with the Debrecen Symphony Orchestra she gained her Masters in music performance. After 2 years touring with the orchestra she was promoted to the post of principal viola, and went on to play viola d’amore solo with the orchestra in many festivals, theatres and concerts including Budapest’s Spring Festival and live on Romanian National Radio. After relocating to London she specialised in performing with bands live, and as a session musician for studio recordings. Krisztina has enjoyed performing with many notable ensembles, such as the Covent Garden Musicians.
Anne-Marie Kirby – Violin and Viola
Anne-Marie Kirby has played for Elbow, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson and Adele, frequently travelling abroad and performing live on television. Classically trained at Trinity College of Music London she has been one of Niche String Quartet’s players for 6 years, travelling with us to wedding and event venues to be part of our unforgettable performances. When not playing with Niche London Anne-Marie can often be found giving a high energy performance with the world famous street musicians in Covent Garden and enjoying performing and recording with many London string ensembles and bands. Her favourite Niche Quartet memory is recording for a secret project at the famous Abbey Road Studios.
Taught via the Suzuki method and studying at the London Music Schools, Michael has enjoys a diverse and successful career with his viola player. He has worked with George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, Tony Allen and Damon Albarn, and recently has written an album with Nick Manasseh which will be released later this year. Michael arranged and recorded strings for Lou Rhodes’ album “One Good Thing” and also various tracks for Oh Land. Michael is currently involved in a project with Nathan ‘Flutebox’ Lee and plays in his band ‘The Clinic’.
Gabs Cseke – Cello
Gabs took to music from an early age as a member of a large musical family based in Hungary. Learning cello from the age of six he gained vast experience in chamber and orchestral music as well in solo performance. As a member of a symphonic ensemble, he played in illustrious venues all around Europe, including The Royal Albert Hall. He was a returning guest of Bryanston Music School, where he played under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner.
In 2008, after finishing his studies, Gabs made the move to London. Whilst keeping to his classical roots, he branched out into other genres. Playing the cello and also the bass guitar, he has participated in live performances with many artists – most notably Gorillaz. Currently Gabs works as a freelance London musician and has worked as a sound engineer for the past five years. As a musician with classical roots and experience in all genres and scenes, he is a truly versatile and unique player and looks forward to applying his talents to Niche’s events and recordings.