Instrument (position)/job title: Leader
Previous work experience:
Leader, Maggini Quartet 1994-2006
Chethams School of Music, Royal Academy of Music (1984-1989)
When did you join the CBSO?
What are your hobbies and interests?
Bird watching, walking, reading, photography, cooking (and especially eating), wine and dining out occasionally.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My teachers, Manny Hurwitz and Mauric Hasson, and my colleagues in the quartet.
What's your favourite film?
'It's a Wonderful Life', with Jimmy Stewart and any film with a Korngold score to it.
What is your favourite book?
I'm enjoying Ian Rankin and Iain Banks at the moment and I recently finished ‘Love in the time of Cholera' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which was wonderful. Currently I'm reading ‘Crow Country' by Mark Cocker, which illustrates the complex and mysterious lives of these highly intelligent birds.
Where do you like to go on your holidays?
Often it's wherever the orchestra goes, staying on for some time afterwards. Recently we went to California and drove down Highway 1 and last summer we cruised from Vancouver to Alaska, which was amazing. My wife and I both love France, especially the Corbiere region in the far South West, which is remote and very beautiful.
What do you like most about Birmingham?
It's so compact compared to London and the people are much friendlier here.
What was the first record that you bought with your own money?
Probably Perlman playing one of his big violin concertos
How do you deal with pre-concert nerves?
I just try to focus on the music and my own personal enjoyment of it. I mostly (but not always) look forward to the solos I have, especially in Symphony Hall!
When did you start playing?
Who's your favourite composer?
I don't have any real favourites; it would be easier to think of my least favourite. Beethoven, however, gives me most, if not all, of what I need in life.
What's your favourite piece of music?
Elgar's 'Gerontius', Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto, and the late Beethoven Quartets Op 127 and 132.
And your favourite concert hall?
Wigmore Hall, Symphony Hall, and St Georges Brandon Hill, Bristol.
What sort of music do you listen to in your car/when unwinding after a long day at work?
Normally Radio 4. I prefer jazz to classical whilst driving.
What was your first musical experience?
Listening to an old LP of Campoli playing the Tchaikovsky concerto and continually saying my first word, ‘Again!'
What is your best musical experience to date?
There have been many wonderful moments over the years and I cannot think of one as being the most profound.