Q: What are you most looking forward to about your new role with BBC National Orchestra of
TS: I am really look forward to getting to know the orchestra better and exploring new music as well as the great standard repertoire with them.
Q: Who are your favourite composers and why?
TS: It varies, of course, but I have always greatly admired Sibelius. His symphonies give me such pleasure to work with - especially the final two; 6 and 7. Number 7 will always have a special place in my heart; to be able to describe the array of life's emotions - magic, sorrow, joy etc. - in just 20 minutes is quite extraordinary, and what's more he does it in such a personal way. I recently discovered that he finishes the symphony with a harmonic reference to his own "Valse triste". I am also interested in the contemporary repertoire and that of B. Tommy Andersson and Magnus Lindberg are among my absolute favourites.
Q: What is your favourite moment in your career so far?
TS: In my former years as a percussionist, I performed Mahler's Symphony No.9 twice with EUYO and Haitink in the Concertgebouw, where I stepped in for a player with a broken leg. I was there visiting my friends and Haitink saw me in the rehearsal studying the score, and asked me to step in. I only had a small part to play but this worked out better for me - as it meant I could watch Haitink all the more closely. There was an incredible contact between him and the orchestra. It was the last project for many of the players and the music-making from all was just so touching; we all knew that we would never experience anything like it again in our lives.
Q: Do you enjoy any other styles of music other than classical and if so, what?
TS: I grew up listening to Modern Jazz which I love, and I started listening to Salsa 20 years ago - it's great at parties!
Q: What are your hobbies and interests?
TS: I can quite easily travel long distances just to eat good food. I also love to swim in the sea all year round - and if I can combine the two of them... heaven!
Q: Who in the classical music world do you most admire?
TS: Paavo Berglund means a lot to me - he's conducted me many times. I've learnt so much from watching him working, particularly with string sound and phrasing.
Q: Which six words best describe you?
TS: Passionate, enthusiastic, happy, curious, communicative and…always in love!