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B i o g r a p h y

Iona McDonald is a Scottish violinist recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London where she obtained her Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree studying with Maureen Smith and Michael Foyle. Graduating her Masters with a Distinction, she was additionally awarded a Postgraduate Diploma (DipRAM) for an outstanding Final Recital as well as a Regency Award for distinguished studentship and the Sir John Barbirolli Prize for outstanding studentship.


Iona is a member of the prizewinning Asaka Quartet, formed in October 2021 at the Royal Academy of Music where they are the 2022/23 Chamber Music Fellows. The quartet have an exciting year ahead, with recitals planned throughout the UK, France and Hong Kong, and residencies with Ferrandou Musique and the Tunnell Trust’s Music Coll.


She is also a keen orchestral player and a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester from 2019-2022. Highlights of her time working with the GMJO include performing on the opening night of the Salzburg Festspiele in July 2021 and a collaboration with the GMJO and the Dresden Staatskapelle in March 2020. While studying, she performed regularly with the RAM Symphony Orchestra which she notably led for their performance of Mahler 3 at the Royal Festival Hall conducted by Semyon Bychkov for the Academy’s 200thAnniversary Concert in June 2022. Iona has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland ensembles since the age of 8, touring China in 2015, performing at the Proms in 2016 and leading the Symphony Orchestra in the 2017 season. In July 2022 she was invited back as a soloist to perform Bruch Violin Concerto no.1 with the NYOS Junior orchestra. She has also performed as soloist with Buxton Music Society, Musicale, Halifax Symphony Orchestra, Glasgow Chamber Orchestra and High Peak Orchestra.


Iona is passionate about music education and has been working with the Benedetti Foundation since January 2020. She has also enjoyed working with the Poole Society for Young Musicians with the Asaka’s and presenting the String Quartet in primary school workshops as part of the Two Moors Festival in September 2022.

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