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Richard Larsen-Pass

Richard Larsen-Pass

Richard Larsen-Pass, Leader 2nd violin section

Instrument - Violin

Joined Orchestra- 2011

A little bit about me...

I didn't pick up a musical instrument until I was 13. My dad brought home a guitar when I was 12 and announced that either myself, my brother or my sister should learn to play it but we were all too afraid so it was placed at the back of a wardrobe and forgotten. It was only when I saw one of my friends at school playing his guitar (and the fact that all of the girls seemed interested in him because of this!) that I rescued the guitar from the wardrobe and attempted to learn to play it with my friends help. My brother soon got interested too and it wasn't too long before we were writing silly songs together that made my mum and nan laugh despite the fact that we only knew a handful of chords each at the time.

I originally wanted to be a pilot and spent many weekends in my late teens working at RAF Woodvale as an Air Cadet Flight Staff Cadet, equipping cadets with parachutes, life-jackets etc and fitting them into the RAF Chipmunk aircraft ready for their flights. I loved it. At RAF aircrew selection at Biggin Hill though, I was told that I had failed the second section of the selection procedure and needed to re-apply in two years' time. I decided that I needed a full-time job in the meantime and applied successfully to the National Westminster Bank.

I worked for Nat West for six years and after studying for some initial banking exams I switched my allegiances to a musical career taking a GCSE music course at Southport College of Art and Technology. I completed further studies as a mature student at Liverpool Community College and Liverpool University. During my time at Liverpool University a part-time teaching post became vacant at the Community College and I stepped in to cover the role. I have since completed a Certificate in Education and now teach music in several schools throughout the Southport/Liverpool area and have also taken on several private pupils.

What other instruments do you play?
In addition to the violin I also play guitar (mostly classical pieces) and have formed a flute and guitar duo with our orchestra's conductor Jeff. Our most recent gig was in a Penthouse suite 38 floors up in a very tall building! I have also played bass guitar in several shows and band gigs and can also play a bit on the piano but am largely self-taught so I generally just play it for fun.

What is the most famous venue you have played at?
Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall. The first time I played there it was scary but fun! The daftest venue I have done is a gig on top of a double-decker bus!

What are your ambitions for the future?
To write more music and to get a new coat!

What is your favourite food?
Sausage and mash followed by mint choc chip ice cream (followed by a bit more sausage and mash!)

What is your proudest moment?
Getting 100% in both the ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory exam and the composition module in GCSE

Who are the most famous people you have played with?
The concert pianist Martin Roscoe in Rachmaninov's second piano concerto and the comedian Ken Dodd who did the narrative for a performance of Britten's Young Persons Guide To The Orchestra; the rehearsals were an absolute scream!

Who is your favourite composer?
Tchaikovsky without a doubt. An endless flow of gorgeous melody, harmony and effective orchestration. His second orchestral suite is my favourite. Other favourite composers include Elgar and Beethoven and I particularly like the violin concertos of Coleridge-Taylor and Khachaturian.

Amazing facts?
I once lived in the same house as the brother of the Bronte sisters, Branwell Bronte (albeit that Branwell was there at Brearley Hall, Luddendenfoot 157 years before I was!)

What do you do to relax?
I read, listen to music, go to the cinema and follow Everton FC.

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