Ursula Heidecker Allen

When did you join the RSNO?
I joined the RSNO in April 1995.

Where are you from?
I was born and bred in Augsburg, Bavaria, South of Germany.

Where did you study?
I studied at first in the small German town Trossingen, then after my graduation in Karlsruhe. In the end I went to London for lessons with Emanuel Hurwitz.

What do you enjoy most about being in the RSNO?
The most enjoyable part of being in the RSNO is the camaraderie, the sound it can produce, the quality of so many players which is outstanding, the fact we play a lot of varied repertoire, and some of the conductors and soloists we get.

Tell us your favourite RSNO story/memory so far.
There have been a few concerts which have been totally outstanding: Mahler 2 with Jarvi, Pelleas et Melisande with Stéphane, a summer Prom with Lalo Shifrin, working with Walter Weller (and being invited by him in Vienna to a real Heuringen with the entire orchestra!)

What do you enjoy doing when you're not playing with the Orchestra?
I enjoy doing lots of things when I'm not playing in the Orchestra. Apart from education work which I love doing in its varying guises, I love spending time with my husband, nature, reading, seeing friends, cooking and baking.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I have some good kitchen skills, though nowhere near the dizzying heights of Kennedy! A few years ago I would have added dress making, but I'm sadly out of practise now.

If you could have dinner with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be, and why?
If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be J.S Bach and his wife, to ask how they coped with all the work, with living in St Thomas' School in Leipzig, with having 20 children, and coped with the loss of three of them!

You're stranded on a desert island. You're allowed 3 CDs and 1 book. What would they be, and why?
Bach 'B Minor Mass' - it's what I grew up on. Some Brahms, some Shostakovich, or maybe some jazz instead? Choosing books for a desert island is even more impossible!