Martin Burgess - Violin
Martin was originally trained as a chorister at New College, Oxford. Discovering that his main interest lay with the violin, he applied to study at the Royal Academy of Music. There, he studied violin with Emmanuel Hurwitz and chamber music with the Amadeus Quartet, winning prizes for both solo and chamber music playing along the way.
Since leaving the Royal Academy in 1992, Martin has devoted the majority of his time to leading the Emperor String Quartet.
Away from the Quartet, Martin enjoys a wide variety of playing, from Directing the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields to playing for Film Tracks.
When at home, heís mainly to be seen repairing the damage caused by his 7 year old twin boys!
Clare Hayes - Violin
After receiving a sixth form scholarship to St. Paulís Girls School, Clare studied at the Royal Academy of Music, with Winifred Roberts and Erich Gruenberg. As well as performing with the Emperor String Quartet, she is a member of the City of London Sinfonia and appears regularly with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. She has also enjoyed performing and recording for a variety of commercial music projects. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, the violinist Simon Smith, and their three children.
Fiona Bonds - Viola
After completing her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, Fiona was awarded a scholarship to study in Berlin. On her return, she started playing quartets and formed the Emperor Quartet with the others. Whilst the Quartet was and has remained her first love, Fiona enjoys a busy and diverse career outside the group. She is co-principal viola in the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Orchestra and often appears as guest principal with the other London chamber orchestras. She is also a member of the Wakeford Ensemble and the Turner Ensemble, both groups involving giving recitals in different combinations of instruments ranging from duos to septets. Along with all this, Fiona has played on many film and TV scores, including a stint in the band for "Strictly Come Dancing" and has recently been touring with Peter Gabriel. She teaches at the Purcell School.
William Schofield - Cello
William was born in London to Australian and Italian parents. He read music at Edinburgh University and went on to study with Radu Aldulescu in Rome and at the Menuhin Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland. He now lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young children.
Since 1992 William has been cellist with the Emperor Quartet and he combines this with membership of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. He has appeared as a guest with the Allegri String Quartet, the Schubert Ensemble of London and with Emma Johnson and Friends. He has played for film soundtracks as diverse as "The English Patient" and "Rugrats Go Wild".