Sally Davis

When did you join the RSNO?
I joined the RSNO in November 1989.

Where are you from?
I'm from Sutton, Surrey.

Where did you study?
I have a Bsc (Hons) degree in Botany from Royal Holloway, University of London, and a diploma in Orchestral playing from the National Centre for Orchestral Studies.

What do you enjoy most about being in the RSNO?
I enjoy being part of a group of highly motivated musicians, each one committed to playing music to the best of his or her ability, and that means discussing the length of a single note for a nursery school concert! I think this Orchestra is feisty and exciting, both on and off the platform - we're certainly not shy and retiring. Sometimes a piece of music we're playing really takes off, with a life of its own.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not playing with the Orchestra?
I enjoy going for walks in the Scottish countryside (hopefully without getting rained on). I enjoy cooking, reading and going to the cinema.

If you could have dinner with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be, and why?
Hildergard of Bingen. She was an extraordinary 12th century German woman. She was a writer, composer, playwright, poet, painter, musician, philosopher, doctor, pharmacist, mystic, visionary, abbess and polymath. I don't think there would be a shortage of topics of conversation, though I can't imagine what she'd like to eat.

You're stranded on a desert island. You're allowed 3 CDs and 1 book. What would they be, and why?
The CDs I would bring include 'Vespers' by Rachmaninov, sung by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, conducted by Stephen Cleobury. It's some of the most wonderful choral music ever written. Our recording of 'The Planets' by Holst. An amazing work. When I was 15, my favourite record included Vaughan Williams 'The Lark Ascending' played by Iona Brown. I no longer have it, but Nicola Benedetti has recorded it with the LPO and Andrew Lytton, so I'd take that. 'The Little Prince' by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This is one of the few books I can read over and over again, and it won't take up much room.