Jackie Hartley, Violin

Born in Ormskirk, Lancashire, Jackie was the youngest of three children of William Hartley, a market gardener, and Patricia (nee Mussell), a music teacher. She began learning the violin at primary school, before going on to study with Howard Davis (of the Alberni String Quartet). Awarded a scholarship, she entered the Royal Academy of Music in London to study violin and piano, and subsequently harpsichord, where she formed the Hartley Piano Trio.

Jackie became the first female principal with a London orchestra when, in 1984, the London Philharmonic Orchestra appointed her as their principal second violin following her graduation from the Royal Academy of Music in 1982.

She met her husband Kevin following a concert at St Columba’s Church in Anfield, Liverpool, in 1989, and they were married there four years later. By this time, Jackie was a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Academy of St Martin in the Fields Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble. She was subsequently the assistant leader of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, then sub-leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

In 1998, after more than a decade with various chamber and symphony orchestras and performing in musical theatre, Jackie was invited by Sir Simon Rattle to co-lead the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, where she stayed for seven years.

Jackie had a parallel career in London musical theatre, accompanying, from 1998, Miss Saigon, Anything Goes, Aspects of Love, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

In 2005 Jackie and Kevin moved to Kent with their two children, and Jackie became a teacher at several schools and at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music. In the years following, she rekindled her love of chamber music, recording and performing throughout the UK. She also resumed her association with musical theatre and the commercial session world, leading The Lion King, Follies, Evita and, latterly, The Phantom of the Opera, and recording numerous soundtracks for films, TV and pop music, including with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road.

Jackie sadly died of cancer in June 2023.

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