London-born Vicky Lester is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music where she studied as a scholar to attain a Masters degree in performance with distinction. Her studies at this level were generously supported by the Musicians Benevolent Fund and a ‘Star’ Award from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Prior to this she gained a BMus Honours degree from Edinburgh University, where she was awarded the Tovey Memorial Prize for Outstanding Musician of the Year and a Bucher-Fraser Scholarship, as well as achieving the highest mark ever given to a harpist in her final recital there.
Accumulating a large number of prizes and awards throughout her education, Vicky is currently living and working in London, enjoying a rich and varied career as a free-lance musician. As an orchestral harpist, she has played with some of the country’s finest professional orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Opera and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She also plays regularly with the National Symphony Orchestra on the Katherine Jenkins tour, and has performed duets with the operatic sensation. Venues include the Royal Concert Hall (Glasgow), Queen’s Hall (Edinburgh), Usher Hall (Edinburgh), Millennium Centre (Cardiff), Lowry Centre (Manchester), Royal Albert Hall, St. John’s, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Barbican Centre, Hammersmith Apollo and Earl’s Court. In addition to this, Vicky has also played for session recordings at Abbey Road, film scores at Air Lyndhurst Studios, has been broadcast on Radio 3 and has made two television appearances, a live BBC Proms in 2005 and the Brit Awards 2006, performing alongside Kanye West.
Vicky is also in demand as a soloist, giving numerous solo recitals nationwide as well as making appearances as a concerto soloist with orchestras across the country. Recent highlights include a performance of Debussy ‘s Danses with Crendon Chamber Orchestra, the UK Premiere of Mozart’s Piano Concerto K414, arranged for harp by Skaila Kanga, and a lunch-time solo recital at St Martin-in-the-Fields.
As well as a busy performing career, Vicky also has a great love of teaching. She received her LRAM teaching diploma from the Royal Academy of Music in 2005 and was soon appointed as a professor of harp at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she continues to work.