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…

Alistair Hinton, composer

listen to as much music of all kinds that you can, figure out from your own instincts and from that listening experience where you want to go next and never be afraid of hard work towards the end of finding your own way, whatever the cost.

David Lancaster, composer

… true to yourself and become the composer you need to be rather than the composer that you think you ought to be. Write to please yourself – never others – and be your own harshest critic, making sure that your critical reflection drives you forward. And work hard – you can’t rely on favours or lucky breaks because ultimately there is only you who can take full control of your composing.

James Erber, composer

Who or what inspired you to take up composing, and pursue a career in music? I began writing music during my first year at my secondary school, William Ellis School in North London, and received help from three of the teachers there. I showed my early compositional efforts to the school’s Head of Music, Douglas…

Robert Peate, composer

Where exactly a ‘good idea’ comes from is almost impossible to say (perhaps it’s something like a subconscious reduction and unification of more consciously absorbed stimuli?), but once something pops up I instinctively know whether it’s ‘something’ or ‘nothing’.

Lara Poe, composer

As a composer, success is writing a piece that I’m pleased with. The form makes sense, things fit together in a satisfying way, and the piece feels solid and cohesive, as well as being pleasant to listen to (or at least I find it pleasant to listen to). Other things that invoke a sense of satisfaction include challenging myself in some way and then fulfilling the challenge in the way I was intending to, or not quite fulfilling it but discovering something else along the way.