THE FACTS: Born in London, England. Studied in England at the Purcell School and at the Guildhall School of Music, with Szymon Goldberg. Prior to the Philharmonic: performed with the English Chamber Orchestra and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. At the Philharmonic: Joined in 1985. Solo debut with the Orchestra: Vivaldi's Concerto for Three Violins in November 1989, with Zubin Mehta conducting.
EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: Playing piano trios with my mother and elder brother — I was probably five. I began playing the violin at four. My family was very friendly with the family of the late cellist Jacqueline du Pré. Jackie was ten years older than me. Sometimes she would stay with us on weekends, and my elder brother and I would observe her practicing. My brother then decided he wanted to play the cello, and so did I. My parents gave me a violin and told me it was a small cello.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN? At age four. I had played the piano for at least a year before that. But once I started violin lessons, that was it.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS WITH THE ORCHESTRA: My first tour with the New York Philharmonic, in 1984, before I joined the Orchestra; my two-year-old son traveled with me as did my late husband, Richard Simon — who was a violinist with the Orchestra — on the five-week tour. It was quite a beginning!
MOST INSPIRING COMPOSER: My favorite letter of the alphabet is B — Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. You can't get much better than that!
DO YOU EVER GET NERVOUS? I get excited, but I can't say I get nervous. It's still a thrill to play a concert.
IF YOU COULD PLAY ANOTHER INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Trumpet
WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER RIGHT NOW? Debussy string quartets
DO YOU EVER PERFORM IN OTHER GROUPS? I play a lot of chamber music, and also occasionally play in chamber orchestras.
WHAT'S INSIDE YOUR INSTRUMENT CASE? A little screwdriver set for tightening screws in my case, and an assortment of pencils, rubber bands, and mutes. Also, since I'm chairman of the Orchestra Committee, usually a whole stack of papers!
As of March 2014