Carl Topilow, conductor

Each orchestral musician needs to be aware of his or her role within each phrase – are you playing the melody, countermelody, harmony, rhythmic pulse – and the relative importance of each. Note lengths, articulation, phrase direction – listening to your fellow orchestra members and fitting your part appropriately.

Matthew Whiteside, composer

Be interested and interesting. Don’t sit back and wait for commissions to come to you, make your own opportunities.

Dominique Merlet, pianist

Who or what inspired you to take up the piano and pursue a career in music? My three great professors : Roger-Ducasse, Nadia Boulanger, Louis Hiltbrand Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career? The testimony of two giants: Egon Petri’s and Heinrich Neuhaus’s recordings . What have…

Håkon Skogstad, pianist

I feel that modern classical performers (myself included) should be encouraged to reconquer skills from the golden romantic age such as improvisation, spontaneity and freedom of expression. That is the (retrospective) future of classical music in my humble opinion.

Tim Horton, pianist

Never think purely in terms of your own instrument. If you are learning music by a particular composer listen to as much of their music as you can (Symphonies, Lieder, Opera, Chamber music), and then listen to the music that influenced them.

Sara Minelli, flautist

Who or what inspired you to take up the flute and pursue a career in music? My parents aren’t musicians so those who inspired me have been my music teachers in Montepulciano (Siena -Tuscany), where I lived. First of all they chose me to be part of a children’s choir for a festival founded and directed by the composer Hans Werner Henze, who lived in the same town. My first musical experience ever was…