Alongside her rich and diverse career as a cellist, Ruth Phillips is internationally sought after as a performance coach and stringed instrument teacher, helping people who suffer from tension, stage fright, or lack of focus overcome the physical and mental strains of the music profession. A trained therapist, she holds a Masters’ degree in Voice Movement Therapy. She studied yoga with Peter Blackaby for many years, has completed three modules of the Non-Violent-Communication training with Muriel Kalfala, and a meditation training with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. In her work she draws on these disciplines and her own musical experience, which includes not only modern and baroque cello but also African drumming, Indian, and folk music, to create a stimulating, empathetic and, above all, safe environment in which to explore the elements that are holding musicians back from reaching their full potential.
Over the last ten years Ruth has given Breathing Bow workshops in California, France and the UK, at the Royal Northern College of Music, The Royal Glasgow Conservatoire and for the European String Teachers’Association and The London Cello Society. In 2020 is teaching on the master-course for musicians’ well-being, The Exhale, alongside Gwendolyn Masin. Her clients include students and graduates from Stony Brook University, Julliard School, Royal Academy of Music, Paris Conservatoire, Royal Northern College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music, and members of the Hallé, Oakland Symphony, San Fransisco Opera and Philharmonia Orchestras.
As a cellist Ruth studied with Johannes Goritzki and Timothy Eddy, gaining her Masters’ degree from Stony Brook University. She played for ten years with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and was a member of Glyndebourne Touring and Garsington Opera Orchestras. On original instruments she has played with the Concert d’Astree, Les Musiciens du Louvre, and as principal cellist with Les Siecles and Opera Fuoco. She has played under many of the great conductors such as Claudio Abbado and Nicholas Harnoncourt. She is active as a chamber musician, having performed with Steven Isserlis and Sandor Vegh amongst others. With her string trio, Trio Mythos, she is collaborating with the folk duo, Brothers Gillespie and Occitane polyphonic trio, Tant Que Li Siam. In 2020 she will tour India in duo with the Indian cellist, Saskia Rao.
Ruth’s articles on stage fright, music, mindfulness and yoga have appeared in the Strad, BBC Music and European String Teachers’ Association magazines. She has appeared on the Music Mind and Movement podcast and on Paul Katz’ CelloBello blog. Her memoir, Cherries from Chauvet’s Orchard, was shortlisted for the Guardian Women’s Memoir award.