James Heathcote

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

I grew up in Rugby, England, and I went to university to study music in Manchester. I have a keen interest in maths and meteorology, and really enjoy playing tennis when I get the chance.

How did you first get into music?

When I was very young my parents would sing to me a lot, so I was always surrounded by music in that sense. I took up piano when I was about seven, and then took up the cello at eight. I went to an event where people could try lots of different instruments, and apparently when I was shown a cello it seemed to just fit very naturally. It may or may not have had anything to do with the fact the person who showed me round was a cello teacher!

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

When I was 16 I got into the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. I had been thinking about the idea of going into music before then but the experiences I had in that orchestra made me decide firmly that I was going to go into music.

What has been your musical highlight so far?

In my third year of university I performed Britten’s cello symphony with the university symphony orchestra. It’s an amazing piece, and I don’t think I will get the opportunity to perform it anywhere else.

Who are your favourite composers/artists/musicians?

Britten, Bach, Elgar, Ravel, Webern, David Watkin, Sir Simon Rattle, Barbara Hannigan, Sir Mark Elder, Ed Gardner, John Wilson, Anna Meredith.

What do you anticipate for the Nevis Ensemble?

The opportunity to play in a wide variety of interesting places in which I wouldn’t normally play and share with people who wouldn’t usually be exposed to it the music that I love.