Was there lots of music around you when you were growing up?

Yeah, a lot. My mother was a ballet dancer. My uncle Alastair [Mackerras] who lived downstairs was the Headmaster of Sydney Grammar, and he would drive me to school. He was a classical music fanatic. He owned thousands and thousands of CDs, from A to Z, and he was so methodical about it. So, I learnt a hell of a lot of music.

Alexander Briger, Australian World Orchestra Alexander Briger. Photo © Cameron Grayson

What instrument did you play?

I played violin but I didn’t really take it all that seriously, I have to say. I was much more into aeroplanes, that sort of thing. My uncle was Charles Mackerras, although I didn’t really know him well, he didn’t live here. He would come home to conduct the Sydney Symphony or the opera occasionally. I remember when I was 12, I was taken to a concert that he gave, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Sydney Symphony, and that was the first concert that I was allowed to go to. I remember just being completely blown away by it and that’s when I started...