How long have you been a member of the BPO?
I joined BPO in January 1993 when I moved to Birmingham.
What inspired you to take up your instrument?
I started having music lessons at primary school but I’m not entirely sure how I ended up playing the violin, although there is a family tradition of playing in orchestras. My great-great-grandfather, William Griffin, played the violin and viola in various Birmingham orchestras under the baton of W. C. Stockley (performing alongside Edward Elgar) and Sir Thomas Beecham etc., in the late 19th- and early 20th-century, so maybe it’s in my genes.
How did you come to join the orchestra?
I previously played with the Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra and, when I said I was leaving, their conductor gave me contact details of someone in the BPO so I rang through and got an invitation to a rehearsal. Once I had passed the audition I soon began to enjoy the challenge and rewards of being part of the BPO.
Most treasured occasion with the BPO?
My favourite concert was in 2004 when we played Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad) by Shostakovich – a brilliant and emotional piece (loud too!).
Any moments you’d rather forget?
None to speak of.
Shostakovich has got to be one of my favourite composers, along with Malcolm Arnold and Beethoven.
Least favourite composer?
I wouldn’t say I have a least favourite composer, although I do find (from a player’s point of view) the 2nd violin part for a Strauss waltz leaves a lot to be desired!
Work(s) you’d like to play before you die?
Before I die/retire I would like to perform Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony again, just to be surrounded once more by the sheer force of sound and music.
The Orchestra <<<