Fusing contemporary sounds with classical instruments, the gorgeous electric string quartet ESCALA caused a sensation in the final of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent 2008. Their producer, Trevor Horn produced their debut album 'Escala' which boasted the freshest and most innovative sound of 2009, scoring one of the highest first week sales for any debut artist in the UK that year.
The quartet comprises four sophisticated, beautiful and intelligent girls in their twenties. These talented, dedicated and disciplined musicians studied at London’s most prestigious music colleges, becoming highly trained, professional classical performers. The four girls became close friends after being recruited as part of a large string section for a UK arena tour by boyband McFly, and decided to work together to create a new musical phenomenon. After entering Britain’s Got Talent 2008, performing in front of 14 million viewers on the show’s final, the band were signed by Simon Cowell to company, Syco Entertainment.
Escala are serious about their music, playing both acoustic and electric instruments and bringing stylish high-octane showmanship to their performances. With their unique formula of fun and integrity, the girls believe their approach will encourage many (in particular the young) to overcome prejudices about classical instruments.
The international appeal for their contemporary sound has seen them travel the globe over the past 2 years including appearances such as Oprah & The Today Show in the US, Children in Need and opening Sweden's Pink Ribbon Gala. The girls have also enjoyed recent performance highlights such as Samuel L Jackson’s 'Night For Love', opening the NASCAR Awards in Vegas and performing to over 100,000 people with Lee Hom in Beijing. They have also led BSkyB’s TV campaign for the UK Premiership football season (in succession to bands such as Simple Minds, Queen and Oasis) and are the current UK face of innovative hosiery brand Pretty Polly stockings.
Victoria Lyon is the great-great-grand-daughter of the renowned 19th century opera singer, Jenny Lind, known as “The Swedish Nightingale”. With her five siblings, who were also music scholars, she formed a family sextet that would busk in the streets, instead of taking summer jobs. She later attended the Royal College of Music and joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as its youngest player.
Izzy Johnston, who gained a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, is from an extremely musical family. Her parents run a music school, her brother Guy is a cellist, Magnus a violinist and Rupert is a horn player, who unfortunately was left severely brain damaged after a car accident in 1997. Her family continues to raise money for Rupert’s charity BIRT. Izzy performed an arrangement of The Four Seasons with Magnus at the Royal Albert Hall Prom in 2005 and was a guest soloist with Michael Ball at his prom in 2007.
Tasya Hodges, who speaks four languages, was born in England but is half Croatian. Passionate about music from an early age, she started playing the cello whilst living in Croatia. However, her life was interrupted by war in the county and she and her family were forced to leave, relocating to Brussels for two years until Tasya won a scholarship to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, England. Later came four years at Guildhall where she performed with the London Symphony Orchestra for three months.
Chantal Leverton, who took up music at age seven, was a member of the prestigious National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, before she won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. Aged 13, Chantal won The Henry Wood prize for most promising string player from the Trinity College of Music. Chantal also played at the Wigmore Hall aged 14 in a masterclass with the Vienna piano trio.