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Ahead of next Wednesday’s concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with Ian Bostridge singing some of Bach’s greatest music, we caught up with OAE Co-Principal keyboard player, Steven Devine, who’ll be directing from the harpsichord and organ…
What/when was your big breakthrough?
I’ve been so lucky to have had a number of “lucky breaks” – the first was arriving at Finchcocks Musical Museum on holiday when I was 12 (I’ve been there, on and off, ever since). The second was winning the first Broadwood Harpsichord Competition.
What do you fear the most?
Losing the ability to think clearly.
Which mobile number do you call the most?
My partner, Kate’s.
What – or where – is perfection?
It is something to aspire to. In a domestic sense it is at home, in the garden with my family and a Chablis.
Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Changes daily, but overall I think Madame Souza from Belleville Rendez-Vous for dogged persistence, with a dog that’s bigger than she is.
What’s your favourite ritual?
Shaving – proper brush and lather, water as hot as I dare, new blade. Ideal way to get going in the morning. Making the cappuccino that follows runs a close second.
Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
So many people for so many different things, but my 98 year old grandmother is a regular inspiration for being “sorted”.
What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
Languages and teleportation.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Be nice to people. Please!
What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Brahms’ Fourth Symphony.
What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
My colleagues and the wildly varied work!
For more information about the 25 April concert, see our events page.
You can also watch a video from a pre-concert talk that Steven presented back in March 2011 here.