Meet WNO

Rosie Biss

Section Principal Cello

After graduating with a music degree from Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Rosie completed her postgraduate performance diploma under Maria Kliegel at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. She stayed in Germany for several years, playing with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra and DeutscheKammerAkademie, where she met her husband.

Prior to joining WNO, Rosie was 'happily ensconced in the world of chamber music' as Principal cello of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and a member of the Zehetmair Quartet, touring worldwide, making recordings and radio broadcasts, and playing in some of the world’s finest concert halls. But the pull of the Welsh valleys where Rosie had grown up was strong. Cardiff, where her father had arrived in 1939 as a refugee from Vienna, had a particular draw.

In addition to the rigorous WNO schedule, Rosie enjoys visiting other orchestras, and in recent years has led the sections of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and English National Opera amongst others. She loves to return to her chamber roots, fitting in various chamber engagements and solo recitals.

In addition to performing, Rosie teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and gives masterclasses annually at Cellofest.

Rosie’s most memorable WNO moments so far have been William Tell, in which she was dragged off stage by antlered, armoured soldiers ('having solitarily opened the overture, centre stage, in full corset and Swiss plaits'), and having Sir Bryn Terfel ‘dying’ at her feet at Llangollen Festival in a semi-staged performance of Tosca.