I had great music teachers at high school (in Saltaire, West Yorkshire); they took my love of music seriously even though I couldn't really play anything in particular at all well. A double bass was delivered to my school 'by accident' when I was 17: it took me over 30 years to cotton on to the fact they obviously figured, with me starting so late, it was the only likely instrument to have success with and surprised me with one.
After school, I went to Leeds University and
rapidly became a string bass bore. I've read everything I could find for 40 years. Now folk treat me as if I really know something about it - still not
so sure myself, but I have lectured and written on the subject.
The Music Department at Leeds found a bursary, intended to provide lessons for violinists from Pudsey but Professor Goehr decided a bass player from Baildon was close enough. For three years I traipsed over to Huddersfield and back for bass lessons with Peter Leah. He was a really
After I moved to Walthamstow (North East London), I started 'Music in the Village' in 2002. My advice is, if you like to relax and spend time with your friends and family, don't start a concert series.
Since 2016, I started London Viols with Mak, Reiko, Ilana and Louise. I figure Gli Amici della Rana has had its day now. Fun while it lasted.
I had the huge privilege to be the bass player for the English Concert: first under Trevor Pinnock, then Andrew Manze and finally for Harry Bickett.
PHOTO Richard Kearns