Sub-principal Viola Lisa Rourke

Supported by The Meta Ramsay Chair

When did you join the RSNO?
I joined the RSNO in December 2003.

Where are you from?
I am from Kirkcaldy in Fife.

Where did you study?
I studied at the RSAMD in Glasgow (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) then at McGill University in Montreal and the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto.

What do you enjoy most about being in the RSNO?
I enjoy playing fantastic music with other fantastic musicians. Concerts are my favourite part of the job and no matter how tired or fed up I might be, I always get a rush of adrenaline when I walk out onto the stage. Playing for children is a highlight as for many of them it will be the first time they have seen our instruments and heard classical music live. Concerts on tour are always really exciting too as you never know how the audience is going to react and the halls are usually beautiful to play in.

Tell us your favourite RSNO story/memory so far.
My favourite story would be on tour in 2010, after our concert in Munich, many of the orchestra were enjoying a post-concert beer in the famous Bier Halle when the Bavarian band started to play the Snee Walzter – the little known piece that we finish every single one of our Christmas concerts with Christopher Bell with. It was quite a sight to see a large group of ‘foreigners’ singing and doing actions to a Bavarian folk tune! My favourite memory is one of my very first tours and playing in the Musikverien in Vienna with Walter Weller – his friends and family were all there and I have never felt such a warm reception from an audience before or since.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not playing with the Orchestra?
I am quite involved with the education work of the Orchestra so on days off I usually find myself out in schools or nurseries. Otherwise, I have a wee girl called Katie who takes up most of my time! I also like watching films, cooking and listening to music.

Do you have any hidden talents?
Not that I can think of – I’m not the kind of person to hide things!

You’re stranded on a desert island. You’re allowed 3 CDs and 1 book. What would they be, and why?
1. Bernard Labadie and les violons du roy’s recording of the Bach Goldberg Variations (my viola teacher, Steven Dann, plays on this recording and it such a beautiful arrangement of the variations) 2. Gil Shaham and the LSO playing the Barber and Korngold violin concertos (something loud and gritty after all that Bach) 3. Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits (something to boogie along to on those lonely nights!) My book would have to be the Bible – predictable I know but a good read none the less!