60 seconds with ... Tom Gould

Thomas leads Aurora Orchestra, is associate leader of Britten Sinfonia, and also performs as soloist with orchestras worldwide under conductors such as John Adams and Thomas Ades. He can be heard at London venues from Royal Albert Hall to Ronnie Scott's.

For those who might not be familiar with your work, how long have you been a musician?
I first picked up a violin when I was 3 years old, and knew I wanted to become a professional violinist by about 16.

Who in particular has driven your musical preferences?
I had an inspiring jazz teacher at school in Hampstead called Fergus Read. He extended by musical horizons beyond only classical.

You've been described as a musician who 'refuses to be defined by genre'.  With that in mind how would you describe your music?
I've got omnivorous musical tastes. I listen to everything and don't have preconceptions based on genre. 

What is the make and model of your signature instrument?
A 1782 G. B. Guadagnini 

Music in general is a tough business.  What is the best advice you can give budding soloists at the start of their journeys
Reach out to connect with your audience and don't be grand about accepting little gigs at the start of your career. 

What is your favourite relaxation activity when not working?
Playing my Hammond organ. 

What are you passionate about?
My girlfriend. 

If you were to have a dinner party, which 3 people would you invite (dead or alive) and why? Also, what would you feed them?
Jamie Oliver to do all the cooking. Jesus Christ, just out of curiosity really, and because he'd have good stories to tell. And Audrey Hepburn because she's the most beautiful woman who ever lived, (with the exception of the answer to the previous question of course).

In an alternate universe, if you were not a classical musician what other profession would you go into?
Restoring old sports cars.

Being a local boy from Hampstead, what three things do you love about Hampstead?
Hampstead Heath, Mansfield Place (the prettiest alley in London), the pubs (especially the Holly Bush).