He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, and plays a 17th-century Guarneri violin. Originally from London, Amyn enjoys life on the South Coast with his young family, who offer the perfect antidote to a life on stage. When he’s not practising repertoire for the next season he can found reading a good book.
My first visit to the BSO was like a ‘breath of fresh air’, and the players and staff were so welcoming. I was on trial for the role of Leader and we were performing Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet under Yan Pascal Tortelier – such lovely music! I really enjoyed working with the Orchestra, and when they offered me the job I was delighted to accept. It wasn’t long before I met my wife, Alba, across the orchestra playing in the cello section; it was a very memorable day, because it was also the start of rehearsals for my first Scheherazade in public. As a Leader, when playing such an iconic work you think of the tradition you are entering into.
I met my ‘musical father’ and mentor at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the former leader Michael Davis. He still is the best I’ve ever seen and was such an inspiration to me – I was lucky to learn from him in my early years as a professional musician. I spent nine years with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, which included performing in the Last Night of the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. We’d go on tour to Germany each year and perform a version there – it was a surreal experience, with audiences singing along to Land of Hope and Glory and waving the Union Jack!
I absolutely love being in a full symphony orchestra, exploring the epic works such as the big Strauss tone poems, Mahler, and of course Turangalîla, which was fantastic to perform under Kirill in 2017. There have been so many memorable performances with the BSO to date: Shostakovich’s Symphony No.14, which we played with Kirill a few seasons ago, and which is rarely done, was incredible, as was Salome with him in 2015 – I can’t wait to perform Elektra next year!
There are so many great programmes coming up in the 19/20 season, and the standard of soloists is always stunning at the BSO. I’m looking forward to the return of Gabriela Montero as our new Artist-in-Residence. The last time she came her improvised encore sounded as perfect as a Beethoven Sonata, even when it went Latin! Building relationships with new conductors is always rewarding too, and this season I’m looking forward to working with Carlos Miguel Prieto and Robert Trevino again in particular. I think that there is a danger that performing earlier music can become an exercise in playing ‘stylistically’; not with musicians of the calibre of Reinhard Goebel and Laurence Cummings, who make everything seem fresh and new. I’m also looking forward to being there for Sunwook Kim’s conducting debut in April – although he did conduct a BSO encore a few years ago…our relationship with him is very special, and I have no doubt that it will be a great concert. I look forward to seeing you there!