Marlis Petersen, soprano

Who or what inspired you to take up singing and pursue a career in music? The real vocation to become a singer happened when I joined the church choir in our little town in the South of Germany. The music I encountered was so beautiful and pure that I felt drawn to it and to…

Libby Burgess, pianist

Who or what inspired you to take up the piano, and pursue a career in music? I was lucky to grow up with music at home – my parents are both musical, albeit not by profession, so there was music going on in the house, and I got my grubby toddler hands on the piano…

Julian Schwarz, cellist

My success as a musician is defined by how much of my life I can fill with playing and performing great music. I love to play. I love to make music with friends and inspiring colleagues. Success for me is not earning a lot of money or becoming famous—it is getting to create art every day.

Cédric Pescia, pianist

My parents were not familiar with classical music. I was introduced to piano at school when I was 7; it was a shock and a blessing; I remember I was so excited I could hardly sleep for a few days.

Toni Castells, composer

Founded by the late MP, the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness published in 2017 that in the UK alone, more than 9 million people often or always feel lonely. Bringing to the surface what is often referred to as “the silent disease”, it spelled out clearly that across society, huge numbers of individuals were struggling…

Phil Best, pianist and composer

I am obsessed by the idea of musical fluency. This is the ability to express music naturally and freely in a way that is a seamless as speaking our native language. When people play or sing directly from their body and soul with authenticity, it is always a joy to hear.