Friday, 18 June 2021

Annabel (Ch. 2010-15) is a violinist and keen cook, living in Glasgow. She tells us about the challenges of a life in music, what advice she'd give to a Brighton College pupil, and her island life playing violin on a sunlounger (eating ice cream).

When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?

A violinist. I was set on the idea of being specifically a chamber musician for as long as I can remember.

Tell us about yourself now you've grown up.

I am a violinist, based in Glasgow, I love to cook, and I have a huge passion for coffee!

What about your life now would most surprise your Brighton College teachers?

That I actually enjoy sports… even running; I was constantly trying to think of any way at all I could escape the annual cross-country race!

What are your favourite memories of your time at school?

The thing that first comes to mind is the House Song competition. I have many memories of somewhat shocking costumes and equally questionable singing on my part, but I will never forget the atmosphere in the hall on those days.

What advice would you give to your school-age self?

Definitely to believe in yourself, as cliched as it is. Also, to know that some decisions, such as which subjects to take, are not as existentially important as they seem at the time. Finally, to fully throw yourself into all activities, whether you are any good at them or not.

What do you do as a career?

I am a violinist in a string quartet: The Resol String Quartet. I also freelance with other ensembles and teach privately.

What does your work involve?

Most of my time is spent in Quartet. We typically rehearse 5 or 6 full days a week. We have a varied concert schedule which includes performances and outreach work across the UK. Education is hugely important to us, and we have worked in schools in both Sussex and Glasgow.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

The amount of (unpaid!) hours that you put in. On top of the group rehearsing, there is individual practice, and several hours a day of admin work, including emailing promoters, printing concert tickets, writing programmes, and working to keep our website and social media updated. But in truth, it does not feel like work for any of us: we enjoy it so much!

What are you most proud of?

Our recent performance at Wigmore Hall in London in the CAVATINA String Quartet Competition where we took home both the First Prize and the Audience Prize.

What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?

My violin (naturally!), a sun lounger, and a big tub of ice cream.

How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be able to make a difference in the way classical musicians teach, discuss and approach mental and physical health for performers. Ultimately, I would like to be remembered as someone who always approached everything with a positive and joyful attitude.

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