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After a sold out Night Shift at Wilton’s, we spoke with director Laurence Cummings about clipping his nails, among other things…
How did you get into music?
My grandmother was a self-taught pianist who played for her local picture house in the last days of the silent movies. She also played in an amateur dance band. I used to love playing duets with her.
What do you fear the most?
Losing those I love.
When you’re not busy practicing/performing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Keeping fit, walking and reading. A bit boring I know but I am very happy doing very little!
Who’s your musical hero?
Oh so many! I grew up with Simon Rattle as conductor of my local orchestra the CBSO (that dates me!) and as a teenager I went to all their concerts. Very inspiring.
Do you have any pre-concert rituals?
I like to clip my nails!
If you could choose to work in a different profession, what would it be and why?
Nursing. I have always been fascinated by medicine. My mother and sisters are nurses and I think it is a very noble profession.
If you had one piece of advice to give to aspiring artists, what would it be?
If you really want to do it keep practising and keep doing chamber music.
What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
The wealth and breadth of musical talent!
Why should people come to the Night Shift?
Because the music is fabulous and we are going to have fun!
What’s the most obscure album you own?
What was your worst ever gig?
An outdoor concert in Germany. Everything went wrong. Please don’t make me talk about it.
Who would you most like to meet and why?
Handel. Fairly obvious why. I’d like a lesson!
What are you listening to right now?
Burt Bacharach. Saw him in concert a couple of weeks ago. He sang Alfie. Heartbreaking.
What was the last book that you read?
The Testament of Mary Colm Toibin.
Which book do you think everybody should read?
The Tibetan Art of Living and Dying.
If you were a superhero what would your superpower be?
The ability to take hate and fear out of our world leaders.