Brain Food: We'd love that job

Professional Musician - Tasmin Little, Solo Concert Violinist

What do you do?

I practise for four hours almost every day. I give up to 65 concerts a year, performing with the world's best orchestras. This year, I've performed in Europe, Japan and America. It's very intense. I find it fascinating seeing the effect of classical music on an international public - Japanese audiences are fantastically receptive, but England has the warmest.

How did you get the job?

I was six when I fell ill with chicken pox. I was bored, and asked my mother to buy me a recorder. I taught myself to play it and read music in half an hour. It was the first time I'd played a musical instrument. I decided to play the violin just on instinct - from the first moment I knew I was going to be a great concert violinist. I went to the Yehudi Menuhin School, then Guildhall School of Music. Two things made a big difference to my career: making my first commercial recording, and debuting at the BBC proms. It was an incredible experience to perform in front of 7,000 people.

Does reality match the dream?

Yes. I did seven concerts with Simon Rattle last year - it doesn't get better than that. Apart from the huge accolade of doing such concerts, it's thrilling to work with exceptional musicians. I'm lucky to have a career that's so stimulating.

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