Genevieve Upton


What is your occupation?
I am a brewer, making Great British Ales at Marston’s Brewery.

How long have you been a member of the BPO?
This year will be my 9th year. I joined the orchestra in 2004.

What inspired you to take up your instrument?
I come from a musical family, with no other string players. In a rebellious bid to break the woodwind trend, I took up the cello and then discovered just how romantic an instrument it really is. I’ve been playing the cello for 19 years now.

How did you come to join the orchestra?
Before I came to Birmingham for university, I played in several good youth orchestras in Yorkshire. I wasn’t prepared to give all this up, but I went to a university without an orchestra. Determined, I researched amateur orchestras in the Midlands and was very lucky to find the BPO at the beginning of my first year. I am very proud to be a member of such a talented orchestra. The BPO is one of the reasons I was determined to remain in the Midlands after graduating.

Most treasured occasion with the BPO?
There are lots. Lichfield Cathedral last year was very special, as that is where my husband and I have settled down now. Being part Janá?ek’s Sinfonietta in Broseley a few years ago will always stay with me as well – Finding myself surrounded by all that extended brass was quite an experience! I always get a thrill from the Christmas series that we do. The music seems to reach beyond the normal audiences we get and the audience feedback is always satisfying to hear.

Any moments you’d rather forget?
Sorry, no! I am constantly surprised by the variety of music we perform and I come away from every series with a new favourite discovery.

Favourite composers?
I love Shostakovich, particularly his 10th Symphony where I first heard about his DSCH motif (which I now hear everywhere).

Least favourite composer?
I’m not a huge fan of Pachelbel.

Work(s) you’d like to play before you die?
I’d love to play some Khachaturian dances, particularly the Waltz from Masquerade and Sabre Dance from the ballet Gayanë. I’d also really like to play Rachmaninov’s Isle of the Dead, and a few more of Shostakovich’s symphonies (I’ve only played 5 and 10).

The Orchestra <<<

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