Personal profiles

“This event will be a way of connecting a new generation with the music of the 21st century” An interview between Simon O’Hea of Music in Portsmouth and Roger Sayer. On Friday 7 June, Roger Sayer will be presenting an...
  • May 10, 2024
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An interview between Simon O’Hea of Music in Portsmouth and London Sinfonietta’s Principal First Violinist, Jonathan Morton “As a budding musician, try to take a leap of faith – that sort of faith will fit keep you going through the...
  • April 29, 2024
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Nicholas is performing as the Evangelist in Chilcott’s St John Passion at the Portsmouth Choral Union’s concert at St Mary’s Portsea on Saturday 16 March. What are you looking most forward to when performing at this concert? The Chilcott  St...
  • March 12, 2024
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Jamie Cochrane is playing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no. 2 along with Petersfield Orchestra on Thursday 21 March at 7.30pm in Petersfield Festival Hall, as part of the Petersfield Musical Festival. What are you looking most forward to when performing at...
  • March 6, 2024
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Emme is the flute soloist in Reinecke’s Flute Concerto in D Major at the Solent Symphony Orchestra’s next concert on 9 March. Read a review of that concert. What are you looking most forward to when performing at this concert? ...
  • February 29, 2024
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Richard will be presenting a varied programme of pieces from much-loved Bach fugues to works by lesser-known modern French composers such as Alain and Langlais, alongside a sonata by Elgar and a chorale by César Franck at 7.30pm on Wednesday...
  • February 23, 2024
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Milly will be singing soprano in “A Century of English Music” at 7.30pm on Saturday 23 March at Petersfield Festival Hall. What are you looking most forward to when performing at the Petersfield Musical Festival this year? Hierusalem by Dyson...
  • February 19, 2024
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Rebecca will be playing the cello at the Festival Lunchtime Recital on Tuesday 19 March at 1pm in St Peter’s Church. What are you looking most forward to when performing at the Petersfield Musical Festival this year?I spent a long...
  • February 12, 2024
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Keir is principal clarinettist with Southern Pro Musica. He is married to Sheila, who is Southern Pro Musica’s concert manager and who also looks after the performers back stage at the Petersfield Musical Festival. Simon O’Hea is in conversation with...
  • February 6, 2024
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On Sunday 4 February at 10 AM at TPS Studio, Petersfield Musical Festival is hosting its eighth competition for young composers, giving an ideal opportunity for imaginative musicians to share their creations with new audiences and receive expert feedback from...
  • January 23, 2024
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music?My Dad is a very keen amateur violinist. There was always music in the home when I was growing up, and we often used...
  • January 18, 2024
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On Saturday 27 January 2024, international virtuosos Bogdan Vacarescu and Valentina Seferinova will be presenting a stunning programme for violin and piano featuring treasures by Ralf, Vivaldi, Vitali and Sarasate at the Menuhin Room at Portsmouth Central Library. What are...
  • January 4, 2024
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? My father was an amateur organist in Portsmouth, where I grew up. The famed “Mr Music of Portsmouth” Reginald Wassell was the reason...
  • December 23, 2023
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Emma Pritchard is playing the cello solo for the Chichester Singers’ Christmas concert on Saturday 16 December at St Paul’s Church in Chichester. She’s a regular player with Southern Pro Musica, so knows the Singers well, but this is the...
  • December 13, 2023
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Froxfield Choir, under the baton of Michael Servant, is collaborating with local and international classical guitarist Amanda Cook for its concert on Saturday 18 November in St Peter’s Church, High Cross.  It shall be performing Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Romancero Gitano, Pachelbel’s Canon...
  • November 10, 2023
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On 11 November Alastair Penman and Jonathan Pease are performing an eclectic mix of repertoire for sax and piano as part of the Portsmouth Menuhin Room concert series. What are you looking most forward to when performing at this concert?...
  • October 26, 2023
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The Chichester Singers, along with Southern Pro Musica, will be performing J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor on Saturday 11 November in Chichester Cathedral, conducted by Jonathan Willcocks. Lucy Gibbs will be singing in this concert as alto soloist. What...
  • October 23, 2023
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On Saturday 14 October Rob is playing Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto along with the Havant Chamber Orchestra. Written in 1949, it is unusual in using only strings instead of full orchestra to complement the solo clarinet. Stella Scott, Administrator of the...
  • October 9, 2023
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Natalie Tsaldarakis and Panayotis Archontides, the Ivory Duo piano ensemble Natalie and Panayotis are playing as the Ivory Duo piano ensemble in a “Lunchtime Live!” lunchtime recital at Portsmouth Cathedral on Thursday 5 October at 1310. What are you looking...
  • September 21, 2023
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On Saturday 16 September at 7.30pm Havant Symphony Orchestra will be putting on a programme of traditional pre-season ‘Popular Classics’ at the Hayling Island Community Centre. This concert will be conducted by James Thomas, the outgoing holder of the Havant...
  • September 8, 2023
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Natalia is Leader of the Chichester Symphony Orchestra, the oldest local secular amateur musical ensemble. Its next concert is playing Three Characteristic Pieces, op. 10 by Elgar and the “London” Symphony no. 104 in D Major by Haydn at 1.10pm...
  • August 27, 2023
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Simon is singing in Rachmaninov’s Vespers and in Poulenc’s Mass in G at the Boxgrove Choral Festival 2023  on 2 and 3 September respectively. What are you looking most forward to when performing at these concerts? One of the great...
  • August 25, 2023
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Jeremy will be directing the 2023 Petersfield Musical Festival open choral workshop, featuring the Bob Chilcott Songbook, on 23 September 2023 in Petersfield. What are you looking most forward to when directing this workshop? In these kinds of workshops I’m...
  • August 3, 2023
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? At the age of 16 I attended the Recorder Summer School where I met Philip Thorby, who then became my inspirational teacher. Philip...
  • July 31, 2023
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Ukrainian Soprano Liliya Sholomey will be performing Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs (one of the most requested pieces on desert island discs) in “Song For Sanctuary” – a Gala Concert in aid of refugees in Chichester Cathedral on Saturday 1...
  • June 28, 2023
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On Wednesday 5 July Amanda Cook, “The guitar queen with a silken touch” (The Independent) presents an inspiring programme of Romantic and Contemporary music by the celebrated composers Verdery, Domeniconi, Assad & Torroba at St Pancras Church, Chichester, for the...
  • June 15, 2023
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On Saturday 10 June, The Bernardi Music Group will be opening this year’s Festival of Chichester in the Cathedral with a cosmic musical journey that will take the audience Beyond Our World. It will be joined by electric violist and...
  • June 1, 2023
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On Saturday 10 June 2023, The Bernardi Music Group will be opening this year’s Festival of Chichester in the Cathedral with a cosmic musical journey that will take the audience Beyond Our World. It will be joined by electric violist...
  • May 23, 2023
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Alastair is the Musical Director of The Choir Church Project and Alto Lay Clerk at Portsmouth Cathedral. Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music?I was a chorister at York Minster...
  • May 14, 2023
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Tim is performing as part of the Cathedral’s regular Lunchtime Concert series in the spectacular setting of the Cathedral Nave on Tuesday 20 June.      What are you looking most forward to when performing at this concert? I am very...
  • April 26, 2023
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On 29 April Cordelia Williams will be providing a programme featuring Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives, Schumann’s Waldszenen, and Schubert’s Sonata in C Minor D598 in the intimate environment of Portsmouth’s Menuhin Room. What are you looking most forward to when performing...
  • April 16, 2023
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Josh is performing in A Watchful Gaze in Chichester Cathedral on Saturday 18 March. What are you looking most forward to when performing in Chichester with The Sixteen? I grew up near Chichester, used to sing as a Chorister in...
  • March 12, 2023
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In anticipation of a thrilling performance at the Renaissance Choir’s Renaissance Choral Masters concert on 1 April, we’ve been chatting with Zoe, who has played alongside the choir in 2019, 2021 and 2022. Who and/or what have been the most...
  • March 3, 2023
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On Wednesday 15 March Helen Morris and Andrew McVittie are holding two “Music for Meditation and Relaxation” sessions at the Portsmouth Menuhin Room in Portsmouth Central Library. What are you looking most forward to when performing at this event? Playing...
  • March 1, 2023
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Alexandra is playing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Solent Symphony Orchestra in its Spring Classics concert on Saturday 4 March 2023 in Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral. What are you looking most forward to when performing at this concert? It’s...
  • February 26, 2023
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The Petersfield Musical Festival (PMF) has appointed the first female chair in its 120-year history – local resident and musician Pam Buckley. In this interview Pam talks about her new role, outlines her vision for the future and explains why...
  • January 22, 2023
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? I grew up in rural Montgomeryshire and my father was a great influence. As a young boy his parents decided he should have...
  • January 4, 2023
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? My teachers passed on their enthusiasm, and demonstrated that graft is required to succeed as a musician. My parents were also crucial in...
  • December 18, 2022
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? My father played the piano by ear and my mother sang, and they took me to concerts from an early age. I was...
  • November 28, 2022
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Andrew began his musical career learning piano first with Marjorie Smale in Portsmouth and later with Joan Last from the Royal Academy of Music. He has worked with a wide range of musicians and ensembles across the south and is...
  • October 31, 2022
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Avi is the winner of the Bob and Beryl Harding Young Conductor bursary holder and is conducting the Havant Symphony Orchestra on 1 October 2022. He’s provided some personal observations here. What have been the greatest challenges of your musical...
  • September 30, 2022
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On Friday 8 July, the Parnassian Ensemble is performing “Baroque Treats for a Summer’s Evening” in Fishbourne as part of the Festival of Chichester. Sophie is the director of this group, so Simon O’Hea took the opportunity to talk with...
  • June 25, 2022
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Teresa Barlow’s Requiem 2020 premieres at Portsmouth Cathedral on Saturday 21 May. Simon O’Hea is in conversation with her. The hour-long choral work explores the prominent themes of 2020, from the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic to the increased prominence...
  • May 15, 2022
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On Sunday 15 May 2022, Simon will be leading the Consort of Twelve in a concert entitled “Two Composer-Priests: Vivaldi and Bonporti” at St John’s Chapel in Chichester. This concert aims to juxtapose and contrast their characters and their works....
  • March 28, 2022
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? Unlike many other people gracing the pages of Music in Portsmouth, I don’t come from a musical background. Although my parents were more...
  • December 21, 2021
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Hugh is the music director and conductor of the Portsmouth Philharmonic Orchestra. Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? The three most important influences that come to mind are: Joining...
  • December 11, 2021
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Nick is playing Weber’s great Clarinet Concerto No 2 with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Chichester Festival Theatre on Friday 26 November.  Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music?...
  • November 15, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your interest in music and poetry? Tell us about your upbringing in this respect. I think that, from quite an early age, composers were obviously important people. Mysterious, old-fashioned, mostly...
  • November 9, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? For me as a listener, there have been so many important musical influences that I feel if I were to name one, I’d...
  • November 2, 2021
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Mark Dancer took up the Directorship of the Portsmouth Festival Choir in the spring of 2021 during the choral shutdown caused by Covid-19, having been for some years Assistant Director. He is also currently Director of Music and Organist of...
  • September 20, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? I’ve always wanted to sing and I was fortunate that the school I went to had a strong ethos when it came to music. Choral singing was...
  • September 16, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? When I was 5 years old, Denis Matseuv lived with my family for 3 years (1991- 94) while studying at Central Special Music School under the Moscow...
  • June 6, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? Inspiring teachers, fortunate opportunities, and varied musical experiences. I have had so many wonderful and brilliant mentors and teachers that I would struggle to name them all...
  • May 23, 2021
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What have been the most important influences on your interest in music? I think it started with my Dad’s love for anything from Flanders and Swan – the music and text play off each other so well, which is something...
  • April 18, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? I had fantastic teachers from the very start of learning the violin: Duncan Riddell (now leader of the RPO), Trish Noall at Wells Cathedral School, and David...
  • April 16, 2021
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Who and what have been the most important influences on your musical career? Paul Dyson, the very charismatic head of music at my rural North Yorkshire school, was a great role model. Accordingly, I used to pinch my mum’s knitting...
  • April 15, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? I started playing piano as a child at a very early age in Lithuania where my family relocated to from Russia. I was born into a musical...
  • March 22, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? My parents are pretty musical! Mum plays clarinet and recorder, and Dad plays guitar and ukulele. They brought me and my brother up on some fab 80s...
  • March 18, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? The Early Music movement had become rather staid and academic by the time that the period instrument ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, was founded in 1985. It really...
  • March 17, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? My parents were not musicians but always had music in their lives, and ensured immersion for my siblings and myself. Peter Gould, then the Master of the...
  • March 6, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? My musical beginnings were seeded when I was at a prep school and ended up joining a Parish choir in Windsor. The organist, Rick Erickson, also happened...
  • February 23, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? I’ve been lucky to come from a musical family and to have had excellent musical schooling, thanks to Bedfordshire’s peripatetic music services. I...
  • February 19, 2021
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Why was Chichester Music Press founded by you in 2003? Chichester Music Press (CMP) was originally a vehicle for me to publish my own music. I’d not had any success trying to interest publishers in my music. Then one day,...
  • February 17, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? I was born and bred in Portsmouth and sang in the choir of St Mark’s church where I also had my first organ...
  • February 8, 2021
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? I’ve always sung – right from My old man said follow the van on television at the age of seven, through being a...
  • December 31, 2020
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? My parents and various teachers were wonderfully supportive – they wouldn’t let me give up till I had got my grade 8 and by then of course...
  • October 17, 2020
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? I started with dance and theatre rather than music, attending Horndean Ballet school, The Royal Ballet associates and then Elmhurst Ballet School from...
  • September 20, 2020
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The Petworth Festival has announced its special autumn programme yesterday. 25 events will be filmed live from the festival’s ‘home’ venues St Mary’s Petworth and the Leconfield Hall and will be streamed via its website. Simon O’Hea has been in...
  • September 18, 2020
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? I come from a musical family – my father Michael is quite well known in the area as a composer and performer on cornett, shawm, recorder, modern...
  • September 15, 2020
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? I grew up in a musical family; my father, now retired, was an opera singer so I pretty much know most of the major opera repertoire. I...
  • September 9, 2020
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? I have had a number of great teachers (instrumental and at university) who have inspired my interest in music. I could not easily name them all! Are...
  • August 23, 2020
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? One of my earliest memories of falling in love with classical music was when I use to visit my grandparents’ house at the...
  • August 18, 2020
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career or interest in music? I certainly started early – I loved to sing as a baby, and used to tinker about on my grandmother’s piano, starting with...
  • August 17, 2020
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Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career? Music was in my family from the beginning and I used to watch my father, David, conducting rehearsals. At an early age I was fascinated as he...
  • August 16, 2020
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Since winning the National Mozart Singing Competition, Susan’s flourishing career has taken her to major venues worldwide. Specialising in contemporary song, she has broadcast for BBC Radio 3 and Norwegian Radio. Legendary mezzo Christa Ludwig described Susan’s lyric mezzo as...
  • July 16, 2020
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Who have been the main influencers on your decision to pursue a career in music? I never really felt like I made a decision about pursuing music as a career – it was just a given in my mind, from...
  • July 16, 2020
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Who or what have been the most important influences on your interest in music? I don’t come from a musical family, but at the age of four I was discovered surrounded by tea trays and National Dried Milk tins, hitting...
  • July 10, 2020
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Who and what have been the main influencers on your decision to pursue a career in music? Singing was always important in my family – my grandmother was a life-long member of the Hull Choral Union, I attended their concerts...
  • July 7, 2020
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Steve (or Stephen – he doesn’t mind which!) doesn’t come from a traditional music background. Quite by contrast, he went to art college where he specialised in pottery, and he subsequently ran a hand-made pottery business for over 15 years....
  • July 6, 2020
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Who have been the main influencers on your decision to pursue a career in music? My parents were refugees from Hitler. My mother was Austrian and my father was German. My mother, a violinist, had played in a piano trio...
  • June 30, 2020
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