Who or what inspired you to take up singing, and make it your career? I’ve always sung, since I was a little girl, and I’ve always loved music. So singing as a job seemed like a natural step. However, I … Continue reading Jennifer Johnston, mezzo-soprano
Who or what inspired you to take up double bass and pursue a career in music? I put my hand up for everything but the only thing left by the time I was chosen was the double bass – then I saw it … Continue reading Stacey Watton, double bassist
I’m interested in the longform possibilities of the concert experience: bold programming which reaches across individual movements to an essence which exceeds the sum of its parts. The great symphonic programmers for me right now are Rattle, Jurowski, Volkov.
The greatest challenge, which will probably last all my life, is trying to understand how to be completely myself on stage, how to convey my own ideas without getting distracted by anything else and be 100% into the music Continue reading Nathalia Milstein, pianist
The sense that people you respect and care about are straining every sinew for the sake of your compositional efforts and their realisation is a uniquely humbling experience. At times it has made the music seem to stare back at me, externalised and somehow become ‘other’. Continue reading Francis Pott, composer & pianist
My musical heart is definitely in baroque music – anything from Purcell to Handel to Bach makes me feel entirely at home. I’ve always been completely at one with the style and harmonies of the baroque period, and there’s nothing from that age that I wouldn’t love singing. Continue reading Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano
I love the versatility and dynamism of the saxophone. It can convey so many different emotions, just like the voice can, and one minute you can be making a hugely powerful, aggressive sound and the next you can be floating the sound Continue reading Jess Gillam, saxophonist
Who or what inspired you to take up you the piano and make it your career?
I didn’t really make it my career. It kind of chose me, after many years of vacillating between instruments and other musical discipline Continue reading Peter Donohoe, pianist
I heard a ‘cello being played on the radio (I can’t remember who was playing) when I was about 6, and just knew that was the instrument I had to play. I fully intended to just become an internationally famous concert ‘cellist (as you do!) but gradually composing took over. Continue reading Cheryl Frances-Hoad, composer
I’m proud (if that can be the word – delighted, happy?) when someone says to me that I can make the harpsichord sing. Continue reading Mahan Esfahani, harpsichordist
Who or what inspired you to take up the violin, and pursue a career in music? Playing or hearing music around me was such a normal occurrence when I was growing up. From an early age I was involved in … Continue reading Rachel Podger, violinist
Who or what inspired you to take up composing, and make it your career? My grandfather was a coal miner who loved music. He encouraged me to get involved. He and my mum talked music a lot, and I gradually … Continue reading James MacMillan, composer