David Arrowsmith


How long have you been a member of the BPO?
I have played in the BPO since 1973 with a gap of eight years looking after two octogenarians.

What inspired you to take up your instrument?
Aged 10 in 1941, I was lent a violin by a neighbour after his son (who had owned the violin) was killed fighting in World War 2.

How did you come to join the orchestra?
On completing three years in the Birmingham School of Music Symphony Orchestra, I was recommended to join the BPO.

Most treasured occasion with the BPO?

Producing a unique fine binding with a design based on Malcolm Arnold’s Symphony No.5 for the BPO’s presentation to Michael Lloyd.

Any moments you’d rather forget?

None really, but it was unpleasant as treasurer of being accused of misleading the authorities at St.Chad’s Cathedral that the BPO was the city’s professional orchestra.

Favourite composer?

No favourite, but I love Mahler’s 2nd symphony, Janacek’s Sinfonietta, Walton’s 1st symphony and Shostakovich’s 10th.

Least favourite composer?

Though I enjoy listening to French impressionistic music, such as Debussy’s La Mer, I do not enjoy playing it.

Work(s) you’d like to play before you die?

What I like most about the BPO is, each season, discovering and exploring a piece I have not previously played – e.g. Stravinsky’s Jeu de Cartes, Shostakovich’s 4th symphony, Gershwin’s piano concerto, Nielsen’s Aladdin suite, and Britten’s violin concerto. I should love to play Stravinsky’s Symphony in C.

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