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    1Escala [2009]


    Escala (previously known as Scala, then eScala) is an electronic string quartet, from London, England who rose to fame when they performed on and reached the final on the second series of Britain's Got Talent on ITV1 in May 2008. They wowed the judging panel with their unique instruments and classical act.
    On their first audition the group played the song 'Palladio' and in the final stage of the competition they chose to perform their own version if the well known, 'Live and Let Die' which was a success. Although they were very good, they did not win the competition they went on to be a successful music act, rumoured to be landing a million pound music contract with a television company. Thery have also released their debut album in 2009, featuring the songs they performed in BGT.
    The four members of the quartet are Tasya Hodges, Izzy Johnston, Chantal Leverton and Victoria Lyon.

    Tasya Hodges plays the Cello. Born in London, she is half-Croatian and spent her early life living in Croatia and Belgium. She returned to England when she won a scholarship to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey. She then spent four years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she won a prize to perform with the London Symphony Orchestra for three months. She graduated from the Guildhall in 2004.
    She has also performed with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and performed with Jeff Wayne on his War of the Worlds Tour in 2006 then toured with Take That in 2007. She has also recorded with the Arctic Monkeys and The Streets. She was a member of The Heritage Orchestra, who recorded their first album at Abbey Road Studios, which was released on 14 August 2006. She has also performed at the Montreux, and London Jazz Festivals.

    Johnston plays violin and comes from a family of professional musicians. Her parents direct a music school in Hertfordshire. She started playing the violin at the age of five and appeared in the musical Annie in a school production, playing the title role. She also played "Fiddler" in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. As a dancer she attended the Royal Ballet Summer School at White Lodge, Richmond Park.
    She studied the violin at the junior department of the Royal College of Music in London, and then studied at a specialist school in Manchester where she won the "Ida Caroll String Prize". She then gained a full scholarship to the Royal College of Music where she studied with Howard Davis. She also spent two summers studying at prestigious music schools in the United States.
    Johnston was a member of Wild with Chantal Leverton in 2005. She performed an arrangement of the Four Seasons at the 2005 Proms with her brother Magnus, at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2007 she was a guest soloist with Michael Ball

    Leverton plays viola. She was born in London and started to learn the violin at seven years old. After violin lessons as school she studied at the Trinity College of Music in Greenwich for five years, where at thirteen years old she won the "Henry Wood Prize for most promising string player". When she was fourteen she played at Wigmore Hall, London in a masterclass with the Vienna Piano Trio.
    Leverton was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. When she was seventeen Leverton switched from the violin to the viola following a recommendation from her music teacher. Leverton then joined her music teacher at the Royal Academy of Music on Marylebone Road in London, where she won a scholarship.
    Before joining Escala, she was a member of Wild with Izzy Johnston in 2005. She performed with Jeff Wayne on his War of the Worlds Tour in 2006 and has also performed solo viola at the launch of the new Baldessarini Boutique in Dubai where she was featured in the Middle East OK! magazine. She has also performed with Aled Jones and the boy band Blue.

    Lyon plays violin. She is the great-great-granddaughter of the Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, went to Wells Cathedral School and graduated from the Royal College of Music before joining the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra where she was the youngest member. She has toured with Simply Red, and performed with Jeff Wayne on his War of the Worlds Tour in 2006. She has also performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia.

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