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Sophie Westbrooke

Watch her 2015 performance: "How numbers challenge educational myths"

Sophie Westbrooke

Sophie began playing the recorder with her mother when she was 5, as a way of learning to read music to aid her violin and piano studies. She moved to formal lessons a year later and passed her Grade 8 at the age of 9. Shortly after she started studying with Barbara Law at the Junior Royal Academy of Music and often plays alongside 2012 BBC Young Musician Finalist Charlotte Barbour-Condini. In 2013 Sophie passed her ABRSM Performance Diploma with Distinction, and she has also gained distinction at Grade 8 on both piano and violin.

Sophie aims to expand awareness of her instrument through the performance of a wide repertoire of music from the medieval to the modern. She is experimental in interpretation, often using improvisation and different combinations of instruments to accompany her ever-growing collection of different instruments.

Sophie is a music scholar in year 11 at Sevenoaks School where she participates in many choirs, orchestras and chamber groups. Her quartet in which she plays violin were chamber champions in the Pro Corda National Chamber Music competition 2014. Sophie also plays violin with the Lydian Orchestra in West Kent, with whom she has also played the Sammartini Recorder Concerto in and will go on tour to Germany and Belgium with the Gordon Jacob concerto in July.

Sophie enjoys composition, and in 2012 wrote a Christmas carol ‘Music of Christmas Day’ which won both the Junior Carol Competition at RAM and was the overall winner of the Sevenoaks School carol competition. In 2013 she was invited to compose a piano piece and perform at the Hastings International Composers’ Festival alongside pieces by Nigel Hess, Stephen Warbeck and others. She is currently working on a set of pieces for recorder to premier in upcoming concerts. Sophie also enjoys studying conducting at school, where she is conducting an orchestra in concert in March and will take part in choral conducting on tour in Tuscany this summer.

Sophie is also involved in music production, and co-wrote, recorded and produced a pop album with her band, playing guitar and keyboards with a school friend on vocals and her brother on drums, raising over £800 for the charity HopeHIV. Having studied jazz piano at a young age she regularly accompanies bands and singers in local charity concerts and events.

When not at school or practising, Sophie likes running and cooking. Although Sophie enjoys her academic studies, she would love to become a professional musician or composer in the future. She is looking forward to performing at the Sevenoaks Festival and BBC YM Finalists Concert in Bristol this June.

More videos? How about Steve Humble?

With over 20 years experience as a mathematics subject leader in various educational establishments, Steve became the Senior Regional Coordinator for the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM), which he undertook for five years. Currently he works at Newcastle University, teaching mathematics on the Primary and Secondary PGCE. Steves research focuses on talented children in low-income areas of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and their possible contribution to the eradication of poverty.

Steve is a Member of the European Mathematical Society (EMS) Committee for Raising the Public Awareness of Mathematics in Europe and a fellow of The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA). To promote public interest in mathematics he has written a fortnightly newspaper column as ‘DrMaths’, as well as a range of puzzles ‘explorer’ books and a number of classroom resources.

Watch his talk or browse all speakers