Together Tania Davis, Eos Counsell, Elspeth Hanson and Gay-Yee Westerhoff are BOND, the original and best-selling string quartet of all time. At its launch, the group was hailed in the press as ‘the Spice Girls of Classical music’, and went onto turn the world of classical crossover music on its head, spawning many electric string groups inspired by its unique sound.
The members of BOND draw their inspiration from classical, Latin, folk, jazz, rock, pop, electro, Indian and middle eastern styles. They have built a very active and loyal international fan base over the years and, since their debut, BOND have sold over 5 million albums worldwide, making BOND the best-selling string quartet of all time.
The musicians, educated to the highest standard at some of the world’s most celebrated music institutions (Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Guildhall and Trinity College of Music), are pure entertainment, serving up a genuinely genre-defying act willing to explore the joy of music regardless of the cultural hamstrings.
BOND has achieved a staggering 56 platinum and 15 gold discs (including in the UK, USA, Australia, Japan, Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, UK, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Philippines and Chile).
The quartet has made countless international TV appearances in the UK, America, Australia, Central America and Asia, … the list is endless. As well as appearing on major TV shows, BOND has hosted CNN’s the Music Room, performed at the MTV Awards in Asia and the USA and participated in televised performances at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
As well as performing at many international Bond film premieres, BOND has featured in movies including Johnny English starring Rowan Atkinson, and XXX State Of The Union, with Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube and Willem Dafoe. Music played by BOND has been heard at many sporting events, including the FA Cup, the Champions League, the Football World Cup, Olympics and the Cricket World Cup. Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent have used BOND’s music extensively.
BOND has appeared in most of the world’s major newspapers and magazines and has travelled the globe several times over in sell-out tours. First violinist Tania Davis says, ‘performing with Pavarotti singing Caruso and playing the Sydney Opera House were beyond special for me’.
Cellist Gay-Yee Westerhoff adds, ‘we have played in front of the magnificent Giza Pyramids several times’. ‘We were so proud to make our debut at the Royal Albert Hall’, says violinist Eos, ‘and then there was Wall Street, when we were styled by Patricia Field [of Sex and The City fame] – we arrived in convertible Lincolns, stopping off and playing before ringing the closing bell.
Then it was straight off to play in Times Square!’. ‘Playing in Beijing, at the Olympics handover, alongside Jimmy Page, Leona Lewis and David Beckham, was amazing and four years later to perform with BOND at the Olympics closing ceremony in London was utterly awe-inspiring’, adds Elspeth Hanson.
Tania – Violin
Tania, first violinist with Bond, began playing the violin at the age of four. As a teenager she gained both her Associate (AmusA) and Licentiate (LMusA) in Music with Distinction from the Australian Music Examinations Board. She gained her Bachelor of Music Degree with First Class Honours from the Sydney Conservatorium and won awards and scholarships to further her violin studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Eos – Violin
Bond co-founder Eos Counsell, from Cardiff, holds an honours degree from the Royal College of Music, where she won prizes for chamber music performance. Before signing to Universal, she worked with chamber groups dedicated to performing music by living composers. A singer, composer, arranger and producer in her own right, she has written for film and commercials, has played on many film scores, and recorded solo violin for several award winning national TV programmes.
Elspeth – Violin
Elspeth Hanson has enjoyed travelling the world since joining Bond. She famously performed with guitar legend Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis at the Beijing Olympics Closing Ceremony. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music, has played at the Proms with the National Youth Orchestra and has recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Prague Philharmonia.
Gay-Yee – Cello
Gay-Yee Westerhoff, co-founder of Bond, is from Yorkshire, England, and is the quartet’s cellist. She holds an Honours degree in Music from Trinity College in London. Before Bond’s rise to fame after signing with Decca/Universal, Gay-Yee worked all over the world with groups including Primal Scream, the Spice Girls, Talvin Singh, Embrace, Sting, Bryan Adams and Barry Manilow.