The harpist reveals how she ran away from her parents to bag a harp teacher and why it’s hard to master seven pedals.

How old were you when you began playing the harp and what made you choose to learn that particular instrument?
I began playing at the age of five, after meeting a harpist at a chamber concert my parents had taken me to. It was not so much the harp, but the harpist that struck me. Her name is Xanya Mamunya, and as soon as I heard her playing I knew that she was someone I needed to know. As soon as interval arrived, I snuck away from my parents and rushed over to Xanya, organising my first lesson then and there. She taught me for the next 13 years, and continues to be one of the most important and valued influences in my life. 

What would be the best (and worst) thing about being a harpist?
The best thing is that you are unique and alone in your sound production. In an orchestra you are usually a section unto yourself, and in chamber music your colleagues rarely know that you have seven pedals...