Profile – Emma Pritchard, cellist, and the Chichester Singers

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 first time she is appearing as a soloist with choir.

Watch Emma playing some pieces that she will be playing in the concert.

Who and/or what have been the most important influences on your musical career?

My parents (particularly my mother) were very supportive when I was growing up, taking me to concerts and so on.

What have been the greatest challenges of your musical career so far?

It’s very common for musicians to suffer from stage fright, and I’m no exception. It can take a while to get it under control.

What are the particular pleasures and challenges of collaborating with other musicians?

I have been fortunate to have played alongside some of the world’s finest musicians.There’s the need for the utmost concentration when playing with others, but that’s OK. Against that, one of the most bonding times for me is when relaxing with fellow players after a concert, especially when on tour.

Are there any composers for whom you feel a particular affinity? 

My mother played to me all Beethoven’s symphonies when I was a child and I have always been fascinated by him. At an early age I knew all the key changes and harmonies of his 9th symphony.

What are your most memorable musical experiences?

The highlight of my career has to have been playing at The Last Night of The Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra back in the 1990s. I realised a dream that I long had!

What advice would you give to those who are considering a career in music?

I gave up a lot of my childhood hobbies as I needed to practise so much, but it has all been worth it. It’s useful to be a perfectionist, to have an absolute focus, and to always keep your instrument in tune when you’re playing it, otherwise I don’t think you should bother with music as a career!

How would you define success as a musician?

Being seen to be, and being in demand.

What would you like to be doing in 5 years’ time?

Going back to doing more touring, like I used to do before having a family.

About Emma

Emma Pritchard was awarded a scholarship to study the cello at the Royal Academy of music. Emma was given a position in the world renowned Halle Orchestra before she graduated from the Royal Academy of music. She has since worked with various, prestigious London orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic, The BBC Symphony and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Emma has performed in major concert halls around the world and has played on many famous film tracks such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Braveheart and the Titanic. Emma success has led to requests for her to be principal cello with Dame Shirley Bassey, Rod Stewart, Lionel Ritchie and Barry White to name just a few.

She says that “the highlight of my career has to have been playing at The Last Night of The Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. As a child I grew up watching this on television and it was a big ambition of mine to do it. The atmosphere was unforgettable with thousands of people singing and waving union jacks!”

“Playing with The London Symphony Orchestra was another highlight. One minute we would be touring the world with conductors such as Andre Previn & soloists such as Rostrapovich. Then a few days later we would be at Abbey Road Studios recording the sound track for Star Wars with John Williams & George Lucas or Harry Potter ( which was closely watched by rather a young and shy Daniel Radcliffe…. Exciting times!”

Read more on the New English Rose String Quartet website.

Photo: Emma is second from the left, with other members of the New English Rose String Quartet.

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