Akina String quartet berkshire musicians

Musicians for events - concerts - corporate work & weddings



Rebekah Frost - Viola & Violin


A graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Rebekah appeared as principal viola in all of the main college orchestras during her time at the college. She was twice selected for a string placement with the BBC National orchestra of Wales and is a former participant in the Britten Pears Young Artists’ Programme. Upon receiving her undergraduate degree Rebekah was awarded the prize for string players at the college and the Vera Smart Scholarship. She was also further supported in her studies by both the Laura Ashley trust and the EMI Sound Foundation scholarships.


Following her graduation from the RWCMD Rebekah has worked with professionally with many orchestras and ensembles on a range of projects including Sinfonia Cymru, the National Chamber Orchestra of Wales, Presteigne Festival Orchestra, Sound Affairs, British Sinfonietta, Welsh Session Orchestra, British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, and Ensemble Settecento. From 2002 – 2008 she was founding violist with the award winning Mavron String Quartet undertaking a varied programme of recital and educational work for various organisations including the prestigious Live Music Now! Scheme and the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust, in 2004 academic year the group were appointed Junior Fellows in Chamber Music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.


Rebekah has been fortunate to attend chamber music courses in Finland, the USA and Romania, as well as being selected  to participate in an international exchange to Australia where she studied with Elizabeth Holowell (OAM).


Rebekah currently is based in Berkshire where she works as a freelance musician. Rebekah manages and administrates Akina Strings and organises all of the groups engagements, she is also the violist and founder member of the Palmer Ensemble (www.palmerensemble.com).


Victoria Stapleton - Violin & Viola


Victoria studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she gained a LWCMD and PGDip both with distinction. She was an annual prizewinner and was privileged to have a variety of inspiring teachers; James Clarke, Dona-Lee Croft, and Nick Whiting.


Following her graduation in 2002, she was selected for a Socrates exchange to Australia at the Newcastle Conservatorium studying with Elizabeth Holowell.


Victoria’s professional career combines an exciting mix of performing and teaching. She has undertaken extra work and trials with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the English Symphony Orchestra and has performed with artists including Dame Kiri te Kanewa, Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins and Kanye West.


Victoria enjoys performing with her busy string quartet and doing various recording sessions for bands and production companies. Victoria is also passionate about inspiring young pupils to learn the violin and she teaches violin and viola for Berkshire Maestros and also at Sherfield School.


Minor Atabek  - Violin


Minor graduated from Istanbul University State Conservatoire in 1999 before completing a Masters degree  in violin performance at Istanbul Technical University's Centre for Advanced Studies in Music. She now works as a freelance violinist in Berkshire and also works as a violin teacher  for Berkshire Maestros. She has worked as a Research Assistant in Istanbul University State Conservatoire before moving to Berkshire in 2008.


Minor's orchestral and musical work includes Camerata Collegium Orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Cemal Resit Rey Istanbul Symphonic Orchestra, Istanbul University State Conservatoire Symphonic and Chamber Orchestras, Istanbul Chamber Orchestra, Istanbul Modern Music Ensemble, Istanbul Technical University Advanced Studies in Music Chamber Orhestra and ENKA Sinfonietta Orchestra.


Minor enjoys perfoming music encompassing a wide range of performance styles including Neapolitan music, Russian and Balkan music, Turkish music, tango, waltz and classical pieces.


Vanessa Gynn,  Viola & Violin


Vanessa Gynn (nee Russell) grew up on the south coast where she learnt the violin initially with the local music service, and then moved onto lessons with Andrew Sherwood. When she was 18 she won a place at the Royal College of Music, where she spent two years studying violin with Maureen Smith, and then another two years studying viola with Ivo van der Werff. While in her fourth year at the RCM, Vanessa was one of a handful selected to audition for the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra's String Scheme. Vanessa also played in masterclasses taken by Bruno Giuranna and Simon Rowland Jones.


Since graduating, Vanessa has been on trial and a frequent extra with the CBSO, with whom she has played at the Proms; She has also been an extra player with orchestras including amongst others, the Brandenburg Sinfonia, Guildford Philharmonic and Brighton Philharmonic Orchestras, and the London Concert Orchestra.


Vanessa is a regular violin and violist with the Barber Quartet and the Akina Quartet. previously she was violist for the Rabinof Quartet who played at venues including City Hall, the Royal Opera House and Kensington Palace, and were also included in the televised Children in Need on BBC1 in 2007.



Joanne Buckland - Violin


Joanne studied music performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, under the tutelage of John Stein and Marius Bedeschi, where she earned a BMus and PGDip. During her time studying, she was also the winner of the Bach performance prize.

During her time studying for her bachelors degree she was also selected for a Socrates exchange to Australia at the Newcastle Conservatorium studying with Elizabeth Holowell.


Joanne enjoys the variety a freelance career offers which has taken her to performing with orchestras including the Welsh National Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. She has played at Cardiff Singer of the World, The Royal Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace, The Brits, Britain’s Got Talent and Dr Who and worked with artists including Kanye West, Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins and Muse.


One of Joanne’s favourite parts of her job is working with string quartets, whether it be as background music for George Clooney’s wedding party or her friend’s birthday party, she always finds it’s a very satisfying, important addition that adds a special atmosphere to the occassion



Anna Wagstaff  'Cello


Anna enjoys a rich and varied life as a chamber and orchestral musician.  Anna has studied and performed with the Vilensky String Quartet extensively, having learnt from some of the greatest Quartet players including members of the Alberni, Chilingirian and Wihan Quartets.    Aside from her work with the Quartet, she has performed with the Aphorism Ensemble at the Centre for Russian Music at Goldsmiths College and performed in Italy with the Viva 6 Ensemble at the Perdenone Silent Film Festival.


Other highlights include performing for the London Turkish Film Festival at BAFTA and with the Sonas Quartet on the Saga Pearl II Cruise Ship down the Amazon River in Brazil.  Anna also performs in a Duo with pianist Tanya Ursova.  As an orchestral player Anna has worked with the New London Sinfonia, City Chamber Ensemble, Guildford Philharmonic, Jersey Chamber Orchestra and the Endellion Festival Orchestra.    


Anna is also a dedicated and passionate teacher of the cello and chamber music.  She has taught at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music and is a teacher on the Cellos Rock! course created by Sheida Davis.  Anna also teaches in schools in her local area in East Berkshire and has a private teaching practice in her home studio.



Jude Barnby

Jude studied the cello with Christopher Bunting, Eileen Croxford and Joan Dickson at the Royal College of Music where she gained a GRSM(Hons) and a DipRCM, winning the Margaret Pagon Jardine Prize.  Performances including a concert for the Queen Mother’s 90th birthday and a tour of Northern Spain with the Donaldson string quartet.


As a soloist, Jude has performed the Elgar Cello Concerto and Bruch Kol Nidrie with Anglo German Youth Music.


Since leaving college, Jude has enjoyed many exciting concerts including a performance of Haydn’s Seven Last Words in the dungeons of Windsor Castle,  chamber music recitals at South Hill Park, including a performance of the Bax Septet and Berio Folk songs.


Jude teaches the cello for Berkshire Maestros, combining a busy career of both orchestral and chamber music playing.