So many strings to Kerenza’s bow

IPSWICH: It’s not every day you get an opportunity to have tea made for you by a rock legend.

But that is exactly what happened to renowned violinist Kerenza Peacock, a former Ipswich High School student.

The 30-year-old will be playing with the Wolsey Orchestra this Saturday, performing Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto.

But ahead of this, she has been rehearsing with Paul Weller, the former frontman of The Jam, for his five-night run at the Albert Hall, which is taking place from May 24.

“He’s brilliant, he actually makes us tea during rehearsals and offers to carry our cases,” said Kerenza, who also plays on Weller’s new album. “He is so laid back and last time bought us all ice-creams from a passing van, too.”

Kerenza, who proudly displays an Ipswich Town sticker on her violin case despite now living in London, will be playing a special violin at the Ipswich Corn Exchange gig.

“I’ve been loaned one worth one million dollars. It’s a lot of responsibility, as well as being a musical instrument it’s a little piece of history,” she adds.

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Kerenza – whose parents still live in St John’s Road – started playing the violin aged three, studying with Bertha Carter MBE and performing with many local amateur and youth orchestras.

At ten, she won a place at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music and was a member of the National Youth Orchestra for two years.

She studied at the academy full-time and founded the Pavao String Quartet in her first week there.

She has led the quartet for 11 years, taking them on extensive tours throughout the UK including venues like Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room and Bridgewater Hall. They have also played in China, Oman, Syria, the USA and an arc of European cities from Lisbon to Warsaw.

Most recently she has played on the album for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest show, Love Never Dies, and new episodes of Poirot. Kerenza has also appeared on TV, playing with Noel Gallagher at the Albert Hall and with Weller on Later with Jools Holland.

She also performed on Popstar to Operastar, getting to play Bat out of Hell with panel judge Meatloaf.

“I’m not sure it’s what Rugeri had in mind when he made my violin in 1680,” she laughs.

Kerenza clearly loves returning home.

“It’s always a chance to catch up with old friends and there were so many people I knew in the Wolsey Orchestra it was very welcoming.

“It’s a nice opportunity for my mum, who’s disabled now and can’t get around so much, to see me play.”

n The Wolsey Orchestra, conducted by William Carslake, featuring Kerenza Peacock, will be at the Ipswich Corn Exchange from 7.30pm this Saturday.

n Have you any stories about celebrities you have met? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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