This February Britten Sinfonia oboist, Emma Feilding performs alongside the orchestras wind players and regular collaborator, Imogen Cooper in a concert featuring Mozart's towering masterpiece, the Gran Partita and Beethoven's Quintet for Piano and Winds in E flat. She took some time out from her busy schedule to answer a few questions;
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There have been so many Britten Sinfonia concerts that have been highlights for me but I remember the first time I played at the Wigmore Hall with the Guildhall strings and Nicholas Daniel as being particularly memorable as my beloved granny was there waving her handkerchief at me. Working with the theatre company Punch Drunk and performing Mozart’s wind serenade with the Haffners are also favourite highlights.
When are you happiest?
Pure happiness can strike at any time and with anyone but giggling in the bath with my 5 year old daughter never fails to bring it on.
What is your greatest fear?
What is your earliest musical memory?
Spinning around on my granny’s piano stool aged about 5.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
My daughter, for her ability to live so completely in the moment, and her carefree passionate nature.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Fainting during a recital at the Royal Academy of Music!
What is your most treasured possession?
Two pictures- one of my grandmother’s house in Norfolk where I was so happy as a child, and another painted by a good friend.
If you were an animal what would you be?
I Like to think it would be a tiger or something dynamic,but think a sloth is probably more realistic.
What is your most unappealing habit?
Interrupting people when they are speaking.
What is your favourite book?
I love reading and could never choose a favourite but J.D Salinger’s short stories, For Esme – with love and squalor, are just heartbreaking.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
My tendency to watch rubbish television, is a bit embarrassing but I don’t think I
feel guilty about any pleasure.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Me, Woody Allen and Gerard Depardieu would be fun for me, oh and someone to
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
A particularly glorious childhood summer in Norfolk in the 1970s spent riding and sailing.
How do you relax away from the concert platform?
Like most people I imagine, laughing with friends, watching films, playing with my daughter, reading and practising yoga.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Returning to playing the oboe after nearly 9 years not playing at all and producing my gorgeous daughter.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
The bad times never last.
In a nutshell, what is your philosophy?
You are never too old to dance and ‘a messy house is better than a life unlived’.
You can catch Emma performing with Britten Sinfonia on Thursday 13th February at Cambridge's West Road Concert Hall and on Friday 14th February at London's Milton Court Concert Hall. Click here for more info.