David Rycroft

David Rycroft

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life. Not necessarily music-related!

I spent most of my working life in academic scientific research, much of the time dealing with natural product chemistry, which latterly led me into taxonomic/systematic studies of liverworts (especially the genus Plagiochila).

How did you first get into music?

The details from so long ago are rather hazy, but I started playing violin aged 8 and subsequently have played in orchestras regularly. Post-retirement I took up viola so as to expand chamber music opportunities.

What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?

Early influences include the beautiful sound of Kathleen Ferrier singing ‘Blow the wind southerly” on a record we had at home, and a performance of ‘Messiah’ where my grandmother played the organ, impersonating an entire orchestra.

What has been your musical highlight so far?

There have been many, but playing 2nd viola in a Mendelssohn quintet in a church in Leipzig at the wedding of friends was very special.

Who are your favourite composers/artists/musicians?

Joseph Haydn’s string quartets and symphonies are high on my list; his work offers lots of variety of mood.

What do you anticipate for the Nevis Ensemble?

Something different from the norm! But a high level of music-making that I suspect will push me to my limits.