Paula Muldoon is a violinist, software engineer, and composer based in Cambridge, UK. Currently the leader of the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra, the first violinist of the Cambridge String Quartet (CSQ), and a Senior Software Engineer at Zopa, she thrives on balancing at the intersection of music and programming.
With the CSQ, Paula has experimented with new ways of musical community-building, currently via intimate, salon-style concerts at the Yellow House Labs in Girton, Cambridge. Other adventures with the CSQ have included a weekly broadcast series on the late quartets of Beethoven watched by hundreds of people around the world and Notes of Beethoven, a wine tasting / concert with local Cambridge wine company Grapes of Britannia.
As leader of the Cambridge Philharmonic, Paula’s interpretation of the solo part to Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldeneben was lauded as having “impressive sensitivity”. Paula enjoys guest leading other orchestras in East Anglia, and recently performed the solo violin part to Scheherezade with the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra.
Paula loves teaching both violin and programming. Her violin lessons focus on breath, effective practising, and historically informed bow usage. Much of her programming teaching comes via volunteering with her community MusiCoders, which she founded in 2020 to help musicians transitioning from performing to software careers.
Paula is a former member of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and subsequently spent several years living in London and performing with ensembles including the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, along with conductors such as Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Marin Alsop, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Highlights of her career include guest leading the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra in China, recordings at Abbey Road Studios, and performances at Carnegie Hall.
Paula has composed music for solo violin, string quartet, and string trio – you can hear her play her own piece, Get Outside, on Spotify and iTunes. She is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (MMus 2012) and the University of Michigan (B.M. 2010), studying with Detlef Hahn and Aaron Berofsky, and received her programming training at Makers Academy in London in 2017.
While at the University of Michigan, she won the Undergraduate Award for Classics Translation and was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Hopwood writing competition. She is also one of WeAreTechWomen’s 100 Women in Tech and on the Computer Weekly Women in Software Power List. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, crotcheting, yoga, Star Trek, and playing with her Cockapoo.