10 for 10: Alumni Q&A with Louise Goodwin

10 for 10: Alumni Q&A with Louise Goodwin


percussion, 2017

To celebrate ten years of the partnership between Southbank Sinfonia and EFG Private Banking, and to highlight how together we have helped musicians from across the world build successful and varied careers, we are presenting 10 for 10: 10 alumni stories over 10 months shining a spotlight on the achievements of our brilliant alumni.

This month we focus on Southbank Sinfonia 2017, and catch up with percussionist Louise Goodwin. After completing her fellowship with Southbank Sinfonia, she worked as a freelancer in London, performing regularly with orchestras in the city. In November 2019, she moved to Glasgow to take up a full-time position as Principal Timpani with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

What motivated you to join Southbank Sinfonia originally?
I had a couple of friends who had been in Southbank Sinfonia and had really enjoyed their time there, and so this was the main motivator to join. I knew after leaving the Royal College of Music I would feel a little at sea, and that it would be great to join Southbank to continue developing my playing and to bridge the gap between formal study and hopefully working full-time in the orchestral sector.

What is your favourite memory from your time in Southbank Sinfonia?
I have loads of fantastic memories of Southbank, both musically and socially. A concert that particularly stands out was doing Belshazzar’s Feast at the Southbank Centre Royal Festival Hall for the 15th birthday concert, it was great to play such a large piece of repertoire and have lots of colleagues in to play in the percussion section. Another project that I really enjoyed and learnt a lot from was doing Beethoven's Symphony No.3 with Mark Wigglesworth, as the orchestra were really put through our paces and I love that symphony. Obviously sitting outside Bar Baldaccio's in Anghiari with a bottle of red wine after the final concert that week is also up there…

What have you been up to since completing the Southbank Sinfonia fellowship?
After completing the year with Southbank I stayed in London for two years freelancing with orchestras in the city and doing some teaching. As of November just gone I have been living in Glasgow, as I was appointed Principal Timpani with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), and began my job with them in February.

How did being in Southbank Sinfonia help you in your achievements since leaving the orchestra?
Southbank Sinfonia was hugely important in my development, and I’m sure that without it I wouldn’t have been able to successfully get through the trial at SCO. It was so useful as we covered so much core chamber repertoire during the year, and just the experience of getting to play timps all year in a chamber orchestra really can’t be replicated and was such great and relevant experience for me with regards to the job. I got very lucky.

What might a typical working week look like for you at the moment? What goals do you have for the future?
A working week with SCO typically consists of two days rehearsal then often three concerts across Scotland. It’s a great way to work as you get a few goes at the concert, and its different each night in each venue. I am also trying to keep freelancing in other orchestras as well, to keep playing percussion and also larger symphonic repertoire as I love doing this as well as chamber rep. In addition to that I do the occasional bit of tutoring, most recently at the National Youth Orchestra, and hopefully I can build this up with organisations in my new setting. 

A huge huge thank you to everyone who supports Southbank Sinfonia. It really is a unique opportunity for recent graduates, and is so important to our continued development.

Find out more about Louise here.