How long have you been a member of the BPO?
I’ve been part of the orchestra for over 5 years now – wow, doesn’t feel that long!
What inspired you to take up your instrument?
I took up violin when I was in primary school, and switched to viola in college. After playing with various youth orchestras, I gradually found myself preferring to play second violin over first, preferring the richness of textures of being nearer the middle of the orchestra than the upper octaves. I took the logical step over to viola when the opportunity presented itself.
How did you come to join the orchestra?
My joining the orchestra is a bit of a fairy-tale story! I received a phone call from another viola player, asking me if I was free on a certain date. She explained her orchestra was short of viola players for a specific concert, and the program was composed almost entirely of pieces we’d played in youth orchestra, my favourite pieces of that year in fact (Shostakovich 5th being the ‘highlight’). I was sold even before she added the orchestra was playing in Symphony Hall, somewhere I’d always wanted to play in. In short, after guesting for that series, I didn’t leave!
Most treasured occasion with the BPO?
Probably still that first concert!
Any moments you’d rather forget?
There was a logistical nightmare for myself and another member of the orchestra attending a concert in Bromsgrove on public transport. We’d made all the preparations; train times, map of the route from the station to the venue, and allowed plenty of time. After arriving in Birmingham to get the train, we found there was a train strike! Trying to ring our section leader to let him know, we discovered I didn’t have his number, and my friend who did had left her phone at home. We located a bus heading to Bromsgrove, which was completely full, so we had a 1 1/2 hr trip on a cramped bus carrying full concert gear. At last, we arrived in Bromsgrove! Only to find out we were on the opposite side of the town from the map we’d printed, and as the venue was newly built, many locals didn’t know it existed. After taking a very long route, we eventually reached the venue with a few minutes spare before the rehearsal started. At least the concert went well!
I’m torn between Rachmaninov and Rimsky-Korsakov – I like my Russian composers!
Least favourite composer?
Don’t think I can actually pick one out.
Work(s) you’d like to play before you die?
I’m keen to try a lot of different music, though I still haven’t played Flight of the Bumblebee!
The Orchestra <<<