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Ruth Waterman

Musician     Artist     Writer

General biography

Ruth Waterman’s inclusion in the book The Great Violinists acknowledges her as one of the finest solo violinists of her time. Her performances have taken her from the Royal Festival Hall to Carnegie Hall to St Petersburg’s Hermitage, and her reputation as a revelatory interpreter of Bach was cemented by her recordings of the solo Sonatas and Partitas.

Born and raised in Leeds, she lived for many years in New York, where she became Adjunct Professor of Music at City University of New York. She has given master classes and lectures at Juilliard, Oxford University, Royal Academy of Music, St Petersburg Conservatory, Jerusalem Academy of Music, and many more. Her fascination with the process of bringing music to life resulted in her giving concert talks in many countries, which in turn led to her writing and presenting programmes about music and the art of listening on BBC Radio and New York Radio (WNYC).

Ruth Waterman’s experiences as guest conductor of a small orchestra in post-war Bosnia prompted her to write a book, When Swan Lake Comes to Sarajevo, which was selected as a Book-of-the-Year by The Observer UK. As a public speaker, she has appeared often at literary festivals and conferences, including the venerable Shakespeare & Company in Paris.

Since her performing career ended, she has been able to spend more time writing and painting. Now living in London, she has had several exhibitions of her paintings and photographs; and she was a prize-winner in the Troubadour International Poetry Prize competition. As musician, artist and writer, Ruth Waterman draws on her experience of the three disciplines in her talks, in essays combining prose, poems and photographs, and in her play The Sound of Peace, which features live classical music.

Detailed biographies: Musician   Artist   Writer