Helen Grime, composer

Each commission has its own challenges, this may be linked to a brief. It often feels like you have to learn composing anew for each piece and that’s tough

Nobuaki Fukukawa, French Horn player

The interesting and funny thing about classical music is that musical success doesn’t always equate to commercial success… But specifically regarding success as a musician, I think it would be “to be able to play whichever piece I like whenever I like”.

Rachel Nicholls, soprano

Hard work and reliability. They’ve stood me in very good stead always. Also try to be a friendly and pleasant colleague, but don’t be afraid to stand up for things you think to be essential. Nicely. Don’t EVER be a diva.

Kate Semmens, soprano

When work and performance opportunities are clear and flowing, there is the challenge of meeting the needs of the music, but this is exciting and stimulating and often finds its own solutions.

James Lisney, pianist

Pianistically, everything remains impossibly difficult and, ultimately, relatively easy. The music of Schubert and Beethoven remain my central marker

Matthijs van Dijk, composer

Who or what inspired you to take up composing, and pursue a career in music? I come from a musical family so I think it was pretty inevitable that music is what I would end up doing… My dad (Peter Louis van Dijk) is a composer and my mom (Susi van Dijk) was a singer,…