You have been with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for nearly 17 years now. What continues to inspire you?

The music making. The detail, musical integrity and diligence that the ACO puts into every rehearsal and performance – be it playing a Beethoven symphony or a piece by a contemporary composer – has always been, and continues to be, inspiring and musically fulfilling. I also greatly value the way in which the ACO shares our music with our audiences which, hopefully, inspires them in turn.

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The ACO’s Arvo Pärt & Shostakovich concert features works by composers who experienced the brutality of government regimes. What do you hope that the audience takes away from the experience?

I hope our audiences come away with an appreciation of the different forms of beauty that can be found in this music, even considering the circumstances under which it was composed. These are composers who are heavily associated with their political contexts. However I’m not always drawn to politicising art as it can become a slippery slope – do we say political art has more value than non-political art? That’s not something I subscribe to, particularly as...