Southbank Sinfonia is pleased to announce the appointment of William Norris as Managing Director. William joins us in late-July 2018, taking over from James Murphy who departs for the Royal Philharmonic Society. Find out more here.
I got involved in music from a fairly early age, thanks to my Mum, learning violin and piano, both of which I played for many years. I think my true love for classical music* started though when I was lucky enough to have the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra visiting my university (Exeter) on a regular basis. At university I studied Geography but got involved in music and there realised that working behind the scenes at an orchestra was actually a legitimate career.
My proudest performing moments however did not take place on ‘my’ instruments. Instead I made my debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2004, playing a Hoover, while in 2012 I joined a cast of thousands for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games armed with little more than a large roll of astroturf and a Victorian street urchin costume.
*though I hate the term classical music
What is your favourite piece of music, and why do you love it?
Obviously I’m going to cheat here and give you three. I’d go for Brahms Symphony No.1 for its startling, almost shocking, opening, Stravinky’s Rite of Spring which I can never tire of and any of Handel’s ‘angry’ opera arias. I think he writes for and about rage, spite and jealously like no other!
What do you think concerts of the future should look like?
They should offer a whole array of ways for people to discover music. We shouldn’t be prescriptive. The traditional concert will likely always be around in some way, but I’d love for experiments with venue, format and cross-genre collaborations to become the norm rather than exceptions, and for risk, adventure and reinterpretation to become part of classical music’s DNA.