When did you join the RSNO?
I joined the RSNO in November 1989.
Where are you from?
Where did you study?
I have a BSc (Hons) 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 even 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 concert 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 also enjoy cooking, reading and going to the cinema.
If you could have dinner with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be, and why?
Hildegard 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 any 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 three albums and one book. What would they be, and why?
The first CD I would bring is Rachmaninov’s Vespers, sung by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and conducted by Stephen Cleobury. It’s some of the most wonderful choral music ever written. Next would be the RSNO’s 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. Unfortunately I no longer have it, but Nicola Benedetti has recorded it with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Litton, so that would be my third choice. My book would be The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, one of the few books I can read over and over again. It seems we are both stranded, but luckily I have three albums and a book, whereas all he has is the memory of a flower. I think I got the better deal!