Nicholas Ashton, pianist

Who or what inspired you to take up piano, and pursue a career in music? My father started taking me to concerts and to the theatre when I was very young – about six years old, around 1968. I remember the first time: It was at the old Public Hall in Preston, with the Royal…

Calista Kazuko, singer-songwriter

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music? Definitely my wondrous Ma and Pa, both of whom were rocking classical violinists! I was so blessed to have the happiest, hippiest childhood soaked in music. We spent every Summer at the magical, mystical Dartington Summer School and I starting screeching away on the…

OKIEM, pianist & composer

Study other great musicians of various styles and genres. Aim for excellence in your craft, and then find your own voice

Jack Spann, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music? My childhood was spent in Saint Louis, about a mile from the Mississippi River. When I was a little kid, there was still one (huge!) riverboat, “The Admiral”, that would cruise up and down the river every day. They had a steam calliope on…

Késia Decoté, pianist

Have your ears open, your curiosity fresh, be disciplined in your practice, and keep the joy of playing/singing, always.

Aleksander Szram, Pianist

I would say that every piece, every concert is a great challenge – the life of a working musician is endless problem-solving, with each solution only leading to new problems/issues to address. In a way, every moment is a great challenge, as you’re always reaching for a perfection that can never be achieved