Violins, Librarians, Jazz and nearly falling in a river

Posted: 7 November by Exeter Symphony Orchestra

Next up In our occasional 'meet the orchestra' series, we speak to Julia Iddon...

What instrument do you play, and why did you choose it?

I play the violin. I started playing when I was 8 and had the choice between the violin and the trombone. For some reason my parents pushed me towards the violin...

How long have you been in the ESO?

I joined the ESO in January 2015 so almost 2 years ago.

What's your favourite piece that the ESO has played? and why?

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire concert we played in July, which included my all-time favourite concerto - Tchaikovsky's Violin concerto with Tamsin Waley Cohen.

You are one of the orchestra's librarians, what does that entail?

The main task is to ensure that the orchestra has music to play! Sophie and I will meet up a couple of months before rehearsals start and contact the libraries and publishers to get quotes for borrowing the music. We then try and make sure everyone has their own part (not always an easy task!). Then at the end of the concert we collect the music, make sure we have all the parts and return it. 

Do you like other genres of music? if so, what might your playlist include?

I can honestly say that I love all music... Apart from Jazz! In my current playlist I have some Metallica, thrice, spice girls, Green day and Adele. If you ask me nicely (or get me tipsy) I've also been known to do a perfect rendition of labyrinth's Earthquake!!

Do you play in other musical groups or ensembles?

I play in a string quartet with Angela Ashwin, Richard Wood and Courtney Quinn.

If you could choose another instrument you'd like to play, what would it be? and why?

As I mentioned above the other instrument would have been the Trombone - I always wanted to play the oompah song that featured in the Jive Bunny mastermixes!

What's the best bit about being in the ESO?

Performing fantastic pieces of music with amazing people!

And the worst?

Getting the bus back to Dawlish means that Wednesdays are always a high caffeine day!

After a concert, is it a mug of tea or a bottle of fizz?

Always a bottle of fizz...or two!

What do you outside of orchestra?

I am a property litigation paralegal for a local firm, but outside of that you may find me appearing on my Husband's YouTube channel either wild camping on the moors or partaking in live streaming video games.

If you could theme a concert, what would you choose?

I would love to perform S & M with Metallica, or play the Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite.

Where has your music playing taken you?

I have been lucky enough to go on many tours while playing with various orchestras including Amsterdam, Germany, Prague and Italy. I was also very lucky to play in the Royal Albert Hall in the School's Proms.

What is your most treasured memory of a concert?

The one concert which meant the most to me was playing Verdi's Requiem in the Royal Albert Hall with my Mum singing in the Choir.

You were one of the subjects chosen for the marketing campaign for the Concert for Wildlife, Tell me about that?

It was an amazing experience but was absolutely freezing! We had to be in full concert gear which is not really suitable for a cold morning in March. I also very nearly fell in a River! But the results were fantastic and really helped to spread the word.

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22 August Brian Northcott

Hi Julia, Do hope all is going well with the imminent little one. I loved the article, and your very varied and totally personal sharing of things. You will have to tell me more about the orchestral music likes and we look forward to having you back with us. Oh -and yes - a bottle of fizz - or even two - can feature well with me - particularly in the garden in France.