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Polly Virr

Cello teacher

Polly is a professional freelance cellist based in the UK, where she performs as an improviser, chamber  musician, soloist and session musician, alongside working as an educator, mentor and composer. She is a  graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where she studied cello with Emma  Ferrand.  

In 2016, Polly travelled to The Banff Centre, Canada, where she worked as a musician in residence,  collaborating with other musicians from around the world and writing her own music for multitrack cello. She  now writes and performs her own compositions using a loop pedal and other effects pedals. Performances  include Lancaster Jazz Festival, Manchester International Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Matt & Phreds and  Band on the Wall. Polly also writes and records music for film/TV, working as a composer for Exodus Music.  

Polly passion lies in improvising and experimenting with music in an abundance of different styles and  genres. She plays the role of “lead cello” in an indie/rock band called Ideal Forgery; in a folk cello trio called  Rowan; and in a classical guitar/cello duo called Ithoni Duo. Polly is an active session musician, recording  as a soloist and as part of different ensembles. She plays with orchestras including the Kaleidoscope  Orchestra, Street Orchestra Live, the Untold Orchestra, Gatecrasher Orchestra and Joe Duddell’s No.6  Ensemble.  

Polly also works as a Music for Health Practitioner, taking live music onto the wards of Manchester  Children’s hospital, making music with patients, staff and families. As an educator, Polly has worked as a  music tutor on both Opera North and Liverpool Philharmonic’s In Harmony programmes. She frequently  delivers educational workshops exploring creative composition and ensemble playing with organisations  including Opera North, Music in Secondary Schools Trust, Amasing Arts and various music services in the  North West. This year, Polly is proud to be a mentor for Sheffield’s Hubfest Momentum.  

Find out more about Polly here: 



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