The Silent-footed Butler

About the Author

Cathy Giles

Cathy Giles was born in February 1956. She is a twin, a mother of four, a professional musician and now author and publisher of The Silent-footed Butler.


My twin sister, brother and I were brought up in the suburbs of northeast London. Our mother was a fine pianist and an excellent teacher. It was her love of music that led to our involvement with music. At the age of six, I began learning the cello, which has been a major part of my life and earned me a living; but it has only been one of my interests. From a young age, I loved gardening, reading and making clothes; later on, house restoration and interior design became consuming passions. I also enjoy cooking, collecting china and elephants (of the inanimate kind). I have always written too – kept diaries and journals, produced a few short stories and essays, and in my youth, long before emails, I was a prolific letter writer. The Silent-footed Butler is my first book. I have four children - two sons and two daughters. They too have been brought up in the suburbs of northeast London, where I have lived for most of my life.

At sixteen I won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. Whilst still a student, I began to work professionally as a freelance cellist in West End shows, London orchestras and recording studios playing on album, film, TV and commercial sessions. At nineteen I won various awards that enabled me to travel to Geneva to study with Pierre Fournier and later to have lessons with Jacqueline du Pré. At twenty-one I won a scholarship to study at the Tanglewood summer school in Massachusetts, where I had the privilege of working with Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Gunther Schuller and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I performed the Elgar cello concerto in Athens, gave a recital at the Purcell Room, many concerto and recital performances in London, and a marathon performance of all six Bach unaccompanied cello suites, from memory, in one concert.

I was not going to include this next paragraph, but I am told that some people might find it interesting. I do not intend to brag – I was just one of the cello section and only occasionally a featured performer. In the late seventies and early eighties, I played in the band at the London Palladium with a variety of stars such as Sammy Davis Jnr., Cleo Laine, Freddie Starr and Liberace.  Over the years, I have played in live concerts, toured or appeared on TV with the likes of Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, Dionne Warwick, Howard Keel, Marc Almond, Robert Plant and Jimmy Paige, Eric Clapton, Quincy Jones, Jon Bon Jovi, K.D. Lang, The Verve, Cliff Richard, Björk, Robbie Williams, Guy Barker, Paloma Faith, Jacqui Dankworth and Georgie Fame. I have played on numerous film tracks, including Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Casino Royale, Die Another Day, Ever After, Moulin Rouge, Shakespeare in Love, Fifth Element, Enemy at the Gates, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Da Vinci Code, Tim Burton's 1989 Batman, Summer of Sam, Lord of the Rings, Sleepy Hollow, Chicken Run, Hollow Man, Gangster No. 1, Mr. Holland's Opus, Prometheus, to name but a few. I have had the good fortune to work with some great film composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, John Williams, George Fenton, Michael Kamen, John Dankworth, James Brett and Danny Elfman. I have also played on numerous albums with artists such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Simply Red, Echo and the Bunnymen, Pet Shop Boys, Seal, Enya, Westlife, Il Divo, Badly Drawn Boy, Madonna, Metallica, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Pink Floyd, Spiritualised and Goldfrapp. TV series include The Irish R.M., Jonathan Creek, Waking the Dead, Inspector Morse, Lewis, Silk, Our Mutual Friend, Martin Chuzzlewit and Band of Brothers.

As well as being a professional cellist, I am what is known in the music world as a ‘fixer’ – I book musicians for work. Most of my fixing work has been for Paul Hart, booking the musicians he has needed to record the hundreds of jingles (music for adverts) he has written over the last thirty or more years. I have also booked musicians for Nick Bicât, Richard Niles, Steven Faux, Laurie Holloway and John Dankworth, and currently book musicians for jingle companies One More Music Company and Yellow Boat Music. Since 2006, I have booked the band for BBCTV’s Strictly Come Dancing for the MD and arranger, Dave Arch. On occasion I play cello in the show, and have featured in small Tango bands on the dancefloor for Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace's performances of the Argentine Tango.



The Silent-footed Butler by Cathy Giles