EX CATHEDRA | Anneke Scott - horn

From our ‘Beginnings and Endings’ programme, February 2019

I was born in Birmingham, not a million miles away from the venue of today’s concert, at the old QE. My dad worked at the university so this really is my old stomping ground. Growing up in Brum offered me tremendous opportunities. When I was at primary school, I started having lessons with some of the wonderful teachers from what was then called the Birmingham Music Service and through them started to play with the various city ensembles. This was around the time that Symphony Hall was built and Simon Rattle was spearheading his “Towards the Millenium” festival. I look back and realise just what a privilege it was to have all this at my disposal. I was already into historical instruments (probably in part due to the exposure I had thanks to ensembles such as Ex Cathedra) and started my studies at the Royal Academy of Music and then in France and Holland. Today I’m principal horn of a number of leading ensembles such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and English Baroque Soloists, The Orchestra of the Sixteen, Pygmalion, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Dunedin Consort as well as doing lots of chamber music with groups such as Boxwood & Brass and The Prince Regent’s Band.

1. How long have you been a member of Ex Cathedra and why did you join?

Again, this goes back to my school days! I auditioned for Birmingham Schools’ Chorale when I was a teenager so got to sing a lot with Ex Cathedra. Ex Cathedra certainly offered me my first taste of professional level performance, albeit not as a horn player – so it was a huge thrill later on when the ensemble started inviting me to perform with the orchestra.

2. What does a typical day look like for you?

I do a lot of travelling! Many early starts, trains, planes and automobiles. I live in London but most of the time am on the road playing with a wide variety of ensembles. I work a lot for ensembles in Europe or touring with UK groups. Sadly at the moment this is all looking precarious given Brexit and the cessation of freedom of movement. Given the fragility of a lot of freelancers livelihoods there is great concern about what may be required of us in future and regrettably very little in terms of information. A recent 12-week-period saw twenty-one separate trips for me, which gives an idea of both my “typical” days as well as the potential problems ahead.

3. If you could choose to perform again any piece you have performed before with Ex Cathedra, what would it be, and & why?

One vivid memory I have was performing the premier of the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Hippodrome in 1995. There have been a number of collaborations with the ballet but I remember the sheer energy of this one in particular. Also, I remember the first time I heard Monteverdi’s Vespers which was with Ex Cathedra in Symphony Hall in the 1990s. With my horn player’s hat on it has to be playing the Bach B minor Mass at the Town Hall. If I can be cheeky, the piece I’d LOVE to perform with Ex Cathedra would Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the Town Hall (hint, hint…).

4. What’s your musical “guilty secret”?

Not guilty about these ones in the least bit! Bob Dylan “Blonde on Blonde” is an absolute must. If you want me to be a snivelling mess then The Unthanks with Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band performing “King of Rome” gets me every time. Another thing I keep on coming back to is the masterful recordings of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, music that really inspired me as a young horn player.