Francis Pott, composer & 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’.

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano

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.

Jess Gillam, saxophonist

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

Peter Donohoe, pianist

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

Cheryl Frances-Hoad, composer

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.

Mahan Esfahani, harpsichordist

I’m proud (if that can be the word – delighted, happy?) when someone says to me that I can make the harpsichord sing.