Debut Sounds: Introducing Foyle Future Firsts Matt Rainsford and Amy Roberts

Catch up with Foyle Future Firsts musicians Matt and Amy as they discuss their experience on the LPO’s Development Programme. You can hear them perform live at Debut Sounds: Dérive on 4 July 2016 performing world premieres by the LPO’s Young Composers.



FFF main page BANNER

What instrument do you play and how long have you played it?

Matt (pictured third from the right):  My name is Matt and I play the trumpet and have done since I was about 12 years old. I did an undergraduate degree at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and have just finished a postgraduate degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Amy (pictured centre): I’m Amy and I play oboe, and have done since I was about 9 years old. I did the joint course at Manchester University and Royal Northern College of Music and I’ve just started my postgraduate degree at the Royal Academy.

Have you always wanted to be professional musicians?

Matt: Since before I went to college and all through college I’ve always had that orchestral end view in mind, so Foyle Future Firsts is really great in achieving that goal.

Amy: When I was probably 8 – after I wanted to be a scientist! I went to a concert of young people performing chamber music and thought: ‘how are they so good, and wouldn’t it be wonderful to make that my job’.

How did you get to hear about Foyle Future Firsts?

Matt: You hear about it when you’re at college. My friend did it the year before me so I knew what it involved and how good it was. It just looked perfect and it is a perfect training opportunity to work with such an amazing orchestra.

Amy: We had a lodger 10 years year ago who did Foyle Future Firsts and played bassoon, so I went to the Debut Sounds performance 10 years ago. It’s amazing being here now 10 years on!

What is it like to work with Magnus Lindberg?

Matt: It’s great. This is our first time working with him so it’s great to see him working with the Young Composers.

Amy: He experiments with the sound whilst he’s on the podium rather than having a conductor who doesn’t compose. He’s really listening out for the sounds and ways the pieces can be improved. As a composer himself, he’s knows what he wants to look for in the score.

Matt: And he knows what the composers are trying to say!

How does playing pieces composed by your peers, such as the LPO Young Composers, compare to playing well-known repertoire?

Matt: It’s easier in the sense that if you’ve got any problems you can ask them directly. But it is a bit daunting because they know exactly how they want their music to sound and you have to recreate it.

Amy: We haven’t seen them since the start of the year and it’s nice to hear what kind of music they produce. You can tell a lot about a person by playing what they’ve written. They’ve been beavering away all these months and it’s nice to see the result of that.

What is the most exciting and/or challenging thing about the Debut Sounds performance?

Matt: I’m excited to see what they take away from today’s session and see what they come back with. It’s a work in progress so they might have some new ideas that are difficult to play. New compositions are often quite hard to play because they go into extended techniques that are right at the limit at what the instrument can do.

Amy: It’s great playing with the LPO players who have taken their time to work with us. When we work with the Orchestra we usually play alongside them in the same part but for this performance they want us to lead in the principal positions. It’s a bit daunting leading your mentors but they trust us. And seeing the Orchestra members playing the solos you realise that all the members of the Orchestra are amazing and it’s really inspiring.

How has the Foyle Future Firsts Development Programme helped your development as a musician and what are your future plans?

Matt: It’s just been amazing. Even when you’re not playing in a particular bit, being within the section and seeing how they work is just incredible. Having the lessons is brilliant; especially having left college, having the contact with your mentors is brilliant. I hope to be asked back to play with the orchestra - I think most people have that dream and it’s a great way to make yourself known.

Amy: Going in so frequently has been an eye opener because it’s good to see what would actually be like to do that day in day out. All of the Foyle Future Firsts have become close and we’re all in the same boat. We’ve all come from different places but we all want the same things so it’s good to get to meet people and play with them fairly regularly.


You can see Matt and Amy perform in our Debut Sounds concert on Monday 4 July. To find out more about the performance, make sure to visit the event page.