Introducing violinist Laura Dixon and double bassist José Moreira, who join the ranks of the LSO's string section.
Laura Dixon, violin
I studied at the Royal College of Music with Rodney Friend and Yossi Zivoni and began freelancing in London in my third year, working with a variety of both chamber and symphony orchestras. The pace of London orchestral work is fast, with a high repertoire turnover and sometimes limited rehearsal time, so it was an exhilarating first few years experiencing many of the great orchestral pieces for the first time.
I started the violin a little later than some – I was nine – after going to an open day at the Yehudi Menuhin school, which is close to where I grew up. I already played the piano and was very absorbed in music, so my parents decided it might be interesting to go along. During the day, a boy the same age as me performed a piece on the violin and I was mesmerised at how beautiful the sound was. I started learning soon afterwards, and the piano quickly became a bit obsolete!
Growing up, I never had any musical idols as such – my family aren’t musicians, although my dad played in quite a prominent trad jazz band in the early sixties. We had quite a mixture of music at home so I always listened to pop and Motown as much as classical! I sang a lot as well, so I enjoyed listening to choral music, and even now I think there is something very captivating about hearing a group of people singing together and making this particular sound which is so unique to us as humans.
As a teenager I was intrigued by the idea of a career in a symphony orchestra and always wondered what it would be like to be one of the musicians. And here I am!
José Moreira, double bass
I started my bachelor studies at the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa and after one year I moved to London, where I spent three years completing my bachelor’s degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
When I started out, I originally wanted to play the bassoon. Sadly, there was only one bassoon slot available in my first music school – and it was already taken. So it was suggested to me to take up the double bass. Over the years, there’ve been many people who have inspired me to play music, but I can single out a few: J S Bach, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and bassist Rinat Ibragimov.
There’s lots that’s exciting about with the LSO. Definitely touring is something I’m very much looking forward to, and having the chance to perform in some of the best concert halls in the world is a dream to any musician.
Laure and José both toured with the LSO on their inaugural visit to Latin America with Simon Rattle in May.
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