How long have you been a member of the BPO?
I joined the BPO in 1984 shortly after arriving in Birmingham when I left university. My first concert programme was Mahler 8 which we played in the Royal Albert Hall as well as the Great Hall in Birmingham University and Coventry Cathedral, so I started with the BPO on a high.
What inspired you to take up your instrument?
My initial inspiration for music was listening to HMV 78 records of brass bands played on our gramophone, however the inspiration to play the violin came from my mother who also played the violin.
How did you come to join the orchestra?
I was looking for an orchestra to join when I arrived in Birmingham and I found the BPO listed in a Birmingham Post directory of clubs and societies.
Most treasured occasion with the BPO?
I think this would probably be playing Mahler 8 in the Royal Albert Hall, but more recently this would be the Mahler 2 concert in Birmingham Town Hall.
Any moments you’d rather forget?
A concert in Lichfield Cathedral when I turned up in a suit (having been given incorrect information on the concert dress) and the rest of the orchestra was dressed in black. As sub-leader at the time, I was a bit more prominent when I had to stand up to tune orchestra. Also a concert in Malvern where I was given a box of choral music to bring to the afternoon rehearsal. I forgot to bring the music, so I had to drive all the way back to Birmingham to get the music in time for the evening concert.
This is a difficult question as I play so much music, but I would rate my favourites amongst, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms and Mahler.
Least favourite composer?
Most French composers.
Work(s) you’d like to play before you die?
Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony. I’ve never played this piece, but unfortunately every conductor I have spoken to says it is too difficult for an amateur orchestra to tackle.
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