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20 Questions with Rumon Gamba

Get to know the other side of the brilliant British conductor as he talks Sir Colin Davis, cooking and cricket...

 

Which piece of music got you hooked? The Planets by Gustav Holst

Who has influenced you most? Sir Colin Davis - his approach to music-making was completely opposite to the ‘tyrannical’ style of conducting. 

Who’s your hero? Pat Jennings (former Arsenal goalkeeper) or Sir Ian Botham (Cricketer)

What’s your go-to comfort food? Toad-in-the-hole

What does your perfect holiday look like? Alternating lazy pool days with crazy dragging-the-family-around-historic-sites days.

I haven’t yet, but I’d like to visit… Mumbai. Anywhere in India actually.

Where’s home for you? Harrow on the Hill, home to the famous school and an oasis in Northwest London!

I wish I spent more time… Going to concerts or the theatre

What does happiness look like to you? A summer sunset looking out over the garden

What’s your favourite app?  The UK pub chain Wetherspoons have a rather good one where you can order, pay and have your drinks/food brought to you without leaving your seat. Simple pleasures!

What gives you hope? The optimism and enthusiasm of my children and their peers

What are you reading? Augustus by John Williams - historical fiction of a Roman Emperor

What’s your signature dish? I make a mean Lancashire hotpot (lamb, onions and potatoes cooked for hours) and pickled cabbage.

Any pets? Sadly, no.

Who (or what) is the love of your life? My wife and kids of course, but my Big Green Egg* comes pretty close...

What is your guilty pleasure? Sneaking a day at Lords’ Cricket Ground whilst most people are working.

What was your first job? Sales assistant in the Classical department of the iconic HMV record store on Oxford Street - heaven!

What do you spend too much money on? Holidays and Cooking equipment

What’s a piece of music you’re desperate to perform that you haven’t yet? The vast ‘Gurrelieder’ by Schoenberg

Why is music important? It is a magical, direct way of communicating without using our own words which often seem to be misconstrued or cause heaps of problems.

*We didn’t know what this was either. Turns out it’s a very fancy ceramic cooker than can fulfil almost any culinary desire you may have.

See Rumon in action conducting From Russia with Love on Wed 3 May (Auckland Town Hall) and Thurs 4 May (Bruce Mason Centre) and Pushing Boundaries on Thurs 11 May.

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