10 for 10: Alumni Q&A with Ruth Rosales

10 for 10: Alumni Q&A with Ruth Rosales

Ruth Rosales

bassoon, 2012 

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. 

We caught up with 2012 bassoonist Ruth Rosales about what she's been up to since completing the Southbank Sinfonia Fellowship.

What motivated you to join Southbank Sinfonia originally?

Southbank Sinfonia is such a wonderful opportunity to play with other young people, learn repertoire, and improve orchestral skills in a safe space. I auditioned and didn’t get in the first time, but I knew other people who had joined previously and had such a good time, (which is another reason I wanted to join) that I reapplied and re-auditioned.

What is your favourite memory from your time in Southbank Sinfonia?
There are so many to choose from! So many moments of laughter with amazing people and so many concerts I’m proud of. If I have to pick one, I think my favourite memory would have to be the family and schools concert that I was allowed to present at Cadogan Hall and in Windsor. I can’t describe how nervous I was being given a head mic for the first time (I was thinking 'who on earth would ever give ME a microphone!'), and standing on stage, speaking in front of the orchestra and in front of schools - it was terrifying! But also exhilarating! I remember the schools audience all standing, dancing, and singing for the last orchestral piece in the concert. It was absolutely amazing to feel a part of connecting young people with classical music.

What have you been up to since completing the Southbank Sinfonia fellowship?
Sadly, I finished the Southbank Sinfonia fellowship many years ago! I can’t believe how time has flown. Since then, I’ve been freelancing in orchestras like the Royal Opera House and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and presenting education and family concerts for orchestras including the Hallé, Welsh National Opera, and Britten Sinfonia. I’ve been very lucky!

Ruth in action as a freelance educator with Orchestra Vitae

How did being in Southbank Sinfonia help you in your achievements since leaving the orchestra?
Southbank Sinfonia opened up many doors for me by way of making connections and improving my orchestral playing skills. But perhaps most notably, it gave me the confidence needed to establish a freelance career. I am so grateful to Southbank Sinfonia for giving me opportunities such as leading workshops and presenting concerts, which made me realise that I wanted to continue to do that sort of thing, in addition to playing bassoon.

What might a typical working week look like for you at the moment?
Once upon a time, a typical working week was never typical! I absolutely loved the variety I had: I could be rehearsing for a full week with an orchestra, playing in an opera pit, leading workshops in a school, or presenting family and schools concerts. Right now a typical week is a lot more relaxed and involved things like online teaching and piano practice (I’d love to be able to play the piano properly one day!)

What goals do you have for the future?
Future goals are to much simpler than they ever were: I hope I can return to how things were and continue to earn a living as a freelance musician. However, I think if you were to ask me earlier this year, I would have said my goals were to continue doing what I’m doing but to keep improving, developing and learning.

Do you have a message to pass on to Southbank Sinfonia supporters?
Just a huge thank you for supporting this orchestra! Southbank Sinfonia really helped me to spring forward into the next steps of my career and provided opportunities in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

Find out more about Ruth here.