Jacqui Miles is the founder and director of Oxford Violin School. An inspirational and dedicated teacher and mentor to students of all abilities across a range of standards, from beginners to post graduate students, young players just setting out in the music profession, adults taking up violin as a new hobby or more advanced players, both professional and amateur, wishing to develop their repertoire, interpretation or technical standards. She is an active professional violinist at the highest level as an orchestral player and as a chamber musician and recitalist.
Jacqui’s own musical education was as a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music and sixth-form scholar at the Purcell School. Following this, she graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree and diplomas in both violin and piano, studying violin with Ralph Holmes and David Takeno, piano with Christopher Elton and composition with Paul Patterson and Gordon Crosse. She went on to qualify as a teacher at the University of London Institute of Education. From 2009-11 she held the position of Teaching Assistant to Dr Katherine McLin at Arizona State University where she gained her Masters of Music in violin performance .
She began her orchestral playing career as a member of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, then moved to English National Opera as a first violin, where she played for almost 25 years until the pandemic hit and, like many other musicians, re-configured her career. She has played with most of London’s top orchestras, including the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC orchestras, touring Europe, USA, Japan, South Korea and South Africa and has made CDs, DVDs, TV and movie sound tracks. During her time in Arizona, Jacqui was Concertmaster of both MusicaNova Orchestra and the ASU Lyric Opera.
Jacqui regularly coaches at the Royal College of Music, preparing students for concerts and operatic productions and giving masterclasses in operatic repertoire and audition preparation as part of the Graduate Orchestral Studies Module designed for students wishing to enter the orchestral profession. Through her position at English National Opera, she was the first violin mentor for those students selected to participate in the “Evolve” collaborative scheme with the RCM and ENO. Many of Jacqui’s past students on this scheme have gone on to be offered positions in professional orchestras, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead, or have embarked on prestigious solo and chamber playing careers.
Teaching has always been of utmost importance to Jacqui. Prior to her move to the USA she was a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, teaching violin, viola and chamber music for both the Junior Department and the String Training Programme. On her return, Jacqui taught violin and viola for Bromley Youth Music Trust (BYMT) both in schools and as an orchestral and chamber music coach and was invited back as guest lecturer for Staff Training. She taught violin with Sheila Nelson in the Tower Hamlets Music Project and also taught violin, viola and chamber music for many years at Trinity Boys School in Croydon, taking an active part in the musical life of the school in concerts, arranging workshops and masterclasses. Jacqui is now on the team of instrumental teachers at Oxford High School, teaching violin and viola, coaching chamber music groups, orchestras and taking classes in aural and theory.
In her professional playing career at English National Opera, Jacqui also gave pre-performance talks to the audience and took an active role in media presentations.
Jacqui is a busy chamber musician giving frequent concerts in the Oxford area as a founder member of Trio Amici and and in chamber groups such as Radcliffe Ensemble, more recently leading performances of both the Schubert and Mendelssohn Octets. During the lockdowns due to Covid-19, she was very active in live streaming her Doorstep Concerts, given during this time of C-19 lockdown, for neighbours and friends and family across the world. Recently, she and her sister Claire, have formed the Hayfield String Duo, giving concerts in the Manchester and Oxford areas.
Jacqui is passionate about her work as an educator and mentor and in bringing the love of music and positive benefits of violin playing to children and adults alike, whatever their abilities and experience.
Jacqui Miles, Director Oxford Violin School
MM B Mus LRAM (violin) ARCM (piano) MTC FRSA