Who were your heroes growing up?

My violin hero was this wonderful, indomitable violinist called Ida Haendel. She was a huge inspiration for me, partly because she was a female role model. Back then – I hesitate to say in the 16th century – but back then there were far fewer female violinists. That’s one of the things that has changed beyond measure in the last 40 years or so. It’s now a very balanced gender mix. One’s tempted to say that there are even more female violinists than males, and certainly a huge number of female soloists in the profession. Obviously Yehudi Menuhin was a hero too. So was Pinchas Zukerman. I did masterclasses with him, when I was 13 and 14 respectively, and he was just inspiring. A brilliant teacher and a lovely person to learn from.

You went to the Menuhin School. What memories do you have of your time there?

I started when I was eight years old and stayed for ten years. I went from a very large state primary school in London where there were 35 pupils in every class to a tiny school where the class size was three. When I started...

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