Catherine Yates began her musical studies with Marion Hillier before going on to study the violin with Malcolm Layfield and Lydia Mordkovich at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Further training included courses at Yale University and at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies at Aldeburgh. In 1989, Catherine became a member of the Sorrel Quartet, performing extensively both at home and abroad, broadcasting regularly on BBC Radio and holding Artists-in-Residence positions at six of Britain’s major universities. The Quartet built up a sizeable discography through their association with Chandos Records, a collaboration which resulted in many critically acclaimed discs, most notably the complete cycle of Shostakovich Quartets and major works of Britten and Elgar.
Catherine combined quartet life with a busy freelance performing and teaching career before taking up the post of Principal Second Violin with the Halle in September 2007. Whilst relishing the challenges of symphony orchestra life, she still enjoys recitals around the country as both violinist and viola player, coaching on various chamber music and orchestral courses, including the National Youth Orchestra, and teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music.