New Zealand violinist Charmian Keay was born into a musical family and has played the violin for as long as she can remember. Mainly taught by her mother Miranda Adams, other teachers included Justine Cormack, of the New Zealand Trio, Kevin Lefohn, director of the Queenstown Violin Summer School (NZ) which Charmian attended in January 2006, and Tessa Petersen. Until 2012 she was studying for her Postgraduate Diploma in Performance as a Trinity Laban Scholar at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with Matthew Trusler, one of Britain's most acclaimed solo violinists.
Charmian Keay completed ATCL on the violin at age 14, and completed her Bachelor of Music with Honours (First Class) in Performance Violin in 2008 at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She was a violinist in the NZSO National Youth Orchestra in 2005 - 2008. After graduating from the University of Otago she won the Elman Poole Fellowship and was offered a place in the Southbank Sinfonia, based in Waterloo, London for the year in 2009, and and went on to do post-graduate studies in London.
European performances include a solo recital in Oxford of Mozart's Concerto No. 5 in A Major, as well as various chamber music recitals in venues such as the Royal Opera house and Wigmore Hall with fellow members of the Southbank Sinfonia, and in festivals including the Paris Oboe Festival, and the Anghiari Festival, Italy.
She enjoyed learning the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto during her studies and is now working on the Beethoven Violin Concerto (a personal favourite).
Charmian has been based in Auckland, NZ since 2013 performing often with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the string quartet Korutet. She plays on a 1769 violin by German maker Leopold Widhalm-Lautten with a bow by Doriane Bodart of Paris.