Jane, when did you begin learning the cello and where did you begin your studies?
I began learning the cello aged nine. I was originally given a violin to learn but knew instantly that I wanted to play the cello. I first learnt at my primary school but aged eleven began studying at the Junior Department of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (or the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as it is now known). When I was fourteen, I was accepted to study at Chethams School of Music.
Do you have a favourite cello work?
I have many favourites sonatas - cellists are lucky to have a wealth of repertoire composed for us! One of my favourite composers has to be Brahms. His two sonatas for cello and piano are very special to me. I also love the melodic writing of Rachmaninov and Strauss. Schubert's Arpeggione sonata is one of the most divine pieces ever written - I look forward to tackling it one day. Concertos... I recently performed Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations which was a lot of fun. So many characters portrayed in one piece!
When you play for us you'll be accompanied by Jennifer Hughes. When did you meet Jennifer?
Jennifer and I met at the Royal College of Music when Jennifer was a Junior Fellow in Accompaniment and I was studying for my Masters degree. As performers, we clicked very quickly and have enjoyed many recitals over the past few years including Wigmore Hall and Elgar Room (Royal Albert Hall). We are also founding members of the Elysian Piano Trio with Emily Sun (violin).
A sartorial question. Do you coordinate your apparel with your accompanist?
We always consult on what we will wear. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing if we match (as much as we can!), but if you feel good I believe you play better!
And the desert island question. If you were stranded on a desert island with a pile of musical instruments, but sadly, no cello, which instrument would you choose from the pile to help you pass the time until you are rescued – and why?
If I wasn't a cellist I would love to be a pianist. I did learn piano in my younger years but somehow it just never clicked! The piano repertoire is amongst my favourite.
Thank you, Jane for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions. We look forward to hearing you and Jennifer play on February 11th.