Iona McDonald

Iona has been playing violin since she was 4 years old, beginning with the Suzuki method and studying with Ms Brenda Smith of Ayr.  After six years of study at Chetham’s School of Music with Ms Yumi Sasaki, Iona now studies at Royal Academy of Music with Giovanni Guzzo and Michael Foyle.  Born in Dumfries, and with her early education  in Moffat, Iona is a well known young musician around Dumfries and Galloway, regularly taking part in festivals, charity and fundraising events.

Studying at Chetham’s School of Music presented Iona with many performance opportunities with lunchtime concerts, her own quartet, Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra as well as community music.  She also had many opportunities to perform abroad when she was selected to take part in the Commonwealth Resounds trip to Sri Lanka in Nov 2013 in schools and orphanages around the country as well as the Sri Lanka Symphony Orchestra.  Her quartet were also selected to take part in an exchange to Oslo to the Barratt Due Institute in November 2014 and March 2015, studying and performing with Pavel Fisher and the Rondo quartet and with Chetham’s Chamber Orchestra at the William Walton Festival in Ischia in July 2016.

Iona has been a member of National Youth Orchestra of Scotland ensembles since she was eight years old.  She has led Senior Orchestra and with Symphony Orchestra she toured China in 2015 and played at the Proms in 2016.  She was delighted to be selected as leader of Symphony Orchestra for the 2017 season.

Now in her third year at RAM, Iona has been busy performing with the Torridon piano trio and RAM Symphony Orchestra as well as playing new compositions, teaching and playing with local orchestras.  Iona was selected to travel with RAM Symphony Orchestra to Japan in June 2018 and to the LacMus festival in Lake Como in July .  Iona achieved a Very Highly Commended in the Winfred Small prize for violin in 2018 at RAM and competed in the Walton competition in Oct 2018.

Iona has performed as soloist with Glasgow Chamber Orchestra, Buxton Musical Society, Musicale,  Halifax Symphony Orchestra, High Peak Orchestra and MLC school. 

Iona’s violin is by Philip Ihle.