Why did you decide to become a musician?
I didn’t really decide to become a musician. I started playing the recorder when I was six and I loved it so much. I led a recorder concert in my junior school, I honestly felt like I do now playing flute for the BSO. Then when I was 9 I found a flute that used to my Dad’s when we cleared our loft out and I loved it so much. I just took to it like a duck to water and I played every day for a couple of hours from the age of 9. It was a very clear path and there was no question really; it was something I always wanted to do.
What’s the best thing about being a musician?
For me it’s playing with people, it’s the communication. It’s just such a wonderful thing to play together and to be able to communicate without words. I just think it’s lovely, the community feeling we have with each other as musicians, and then the way we can communicate with the audience. It’s something really special; it’s like nothing else I think.
What’s the one performance from your career that sticks in your mind?
That’s a really hard question. I think one of the Proms where we did Romeo and Juliet. I just loved it, and, selfishly, I got quite a lot of solos. When I stood up and heard the applause, I just felt so proud to be a member of such an amazing orchestra, with amazing music at the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. It was such a wonderful feeling, I just thought this is really lovely and I’m so lucky to be a part of it.
If you could work with one musician, who would it be and why?
It would have to be William Bennet who is the most incredible flute player, musician and person. I know him and it would be such a privilege to work with him. I don’t think he works so much anymore because he’s got older, but he’s my most admired musician and flute player.
What work do you enjoy playing above all else?
That’s also a difficult question, there are so many. I think it would probably be the Mozart flute concertos, which I used to do a lot before I played here when I was freelance. I just love Mozart, the purity of it.
Tell us about the history of your instrument.
I’ve got two actually. I’ve got a Louis Lot which is a very old French flute. It is beautiful and is about 120 years old. They are very sought after, so I’m very lucky to have one. Louis Lot, who made it, used a special silver and ever since people have tried to copy the Louis Lott sound and they can’t seem to. But the tuning is quite difficult on it, it’s a brilliant sound but quite difficult to tune so it’s not great for this job. So I’ve got another flute for when I’m playing in the Orchestra, an Arista which is American. He tried to copy the Louis Lott and he’s the closest but the tuning is great. So my Arista flute is what I play here most of the time.
What are your interests outside of music?
Yoga, running and my children.