This time it’s the turn of our swashbuckling Programme Manager: Learning & Participation, Cathy to bare her soul for the blog!
What was the first gramophone cylinder you bought? *
Sadly my penchant for a nice charity shop bargain hasn’t yet stretched to a phonograph, though I did once have a tinkle on a player piano.
Do you have a favourite composer? If so, who?
Enduringly Shostakovich, though I’ve been known to veer into the Hindemith camp from time to time over the years. I think there’s a starkness in both that appeals to me, but also a great deal of wit and inventiveness in texture and harmony that keeps you on your toes.
Almost a dancer, now an L&P Programme Manager
What was the last concert/gig you went to?
Not sure if it quite counts but I went to the semi final of the Musical Comedy Awards recently which was brilliant. Really good to see also that those through to the final are “musicians that are really very funny” rather than “comedians who throw in some music as something a bit different”.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
As a small child a ballet dancer, despite the best efforts of my formidable teacher to dissuade me. I believe the exact words she used to my 6-year-old self were, “You’ll never be a dancer, you’re too tall and your feet are too big. The only good thing about you are your shoulder blades”, before vigorously impaling hair pins into my bun and – I maintain – head. Luckily the lady who played piano for our class was more on the relaxed side and took me under her wing as a piano pupil. Probably worked out for the best as she was right, I do have pretty big feet.
What were you doing before coming to work with Spitalfields Music?
Before coming to Spitalfields Music I spent a year as Orchestral Assistant at the Royal Academy of Music, busily trying to ensure that the right music and the right students were in the right place at the right time. Not always an easy task!
Prior to that I did my master’s with research focused on an impossible (literally!) piece of Ferneyhough, Cassandra’s Dream Song, which I also attempted to play. Luckily for me the score comes with lengthy instructions including that “a ‘beautiful’, cultivated performance is not to be aimed at”. Phew!
Red or white wine?
Ooo, yes please. That would be lovely.
What excites you most about working with Spitalfields Music?
My role in L&P means that I’m out and about lots of the time making music with different groups from all over our community. When every day is different they’re mostly pretty exciting.
Who inspires you?
I’ve always found explorers and travellers inspiring. Not just for heading out into the unknown, but for having the even greater courage to up sticks and leave the comfortable behind.
And finally, would you share an interesting fact about yourself with us?
I am a pirate. No, not really. Though I do live on a sailing boat that looks like this…
- Cathy’s boat, the Mooi Maisga (Friesian for Beautiful Girl)
*We should point out that this was a reaction to Cathy complaining that she was too old for her first recording to have been a CD.