What drives your passion for new music?
I’m not sure I can differentiate it from that which drives my passion for music itself. I’ve always had wide musical tastes and never categorised music in terms of new or old. The added excitement and reward of taking on brand new pieces is being able to work with composers, and having the joy as well as the rather weighty responsibility that comes with giving a first performance. It seems only natural that performers and composers should work as closely together as possible, and participating in this crucial and beautiful process of bringing new work into the world is one of the most fulfilling and exciting parts of being a musician.
How did your interest in Finnish music develop?
When I was about 12 years old, my father and I came across a CD of music by an exotically-named Finnish composer, Einojuhani Rautavaara. The disc contained his famous work, Cantus Arcticus, a concerto for birds and orchestra. It was completely unlike anything I had heard up to that point, and I was captivated by the haunting bird calls and the lush melancholy of the orchestral writing that underpinned and encircled them. The disc also contained...