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This page was last checked and updated on 17 July 2003 at 15:59

I began to learn the piano when I was 8 years old. Like my elder brother, David, I attended the music school in Peterborough which was run by the two Holdich sisters, Elizabeth and Margaret. They were an amazing pair, teaching violin and piano and running ensemble classes for assorted instruments. I even attended ballet classes for two weeks!

When I went to Bishop`s Stortford College, I had the privilege of being taught by Michael Gough Matthews, who later became Professor of Music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Edinburgh and, later still, Principal of the Royal College of Music in London in succession to Sir David Willcocks.

I achieved Grade 8 (without distinction!) under his tutelage and also Grade 5 on the organ.

My keyboard technique is not developed much beyond the level of a capable amateur. I have small hands and am certainly no virtuoso. But I am a sensitive accompanist and have accompanied many pupils for grade examinations, including grade 8. On occasions I have pulled out all the stops and have managed to conquer Beethoven`s Kreuzer Sonata and the first movement of Hindemith`s Trumpet Sonata. I have also played the solo parts in two of Mozart`s Pianoforte Concertos: No. 17 in G major and No. 19 in F major.