I could not be more excited to announce that, thanks to the Cherubim Music Trust, I am now playing the wonderful Smillie 'McNeil' cello, which this year turns 111 years old!
Is it not ironic that, just months after having left Scotland for London, I am to start playing a Scottish cello? Seems like you can take the cellist out of Scotland, but you cannot take Scotland out of the cellist...
On a (slightly) more serious note, this fine instrument, made by Alexander Smillie, is an imitation of the Guarneri style, short and broad, but keeping Smillie's characteristic scrolls. In my brief time playing it I have found its depth and resonance to be incredibly gorgeous, and cannot wait to explore all the expressive possibilities that this instrument will offer.
You can find out more about the cello here.
I cannot wait to continue playing what I am sure will be a wonderful companion for the next years, and of course I must thank my colleague and friend Samuel Ng, who was the previous recipient of the cello and who put me in touch with the trust in the first place!
Thanks also to Michael Maxwell Steer, director of the Cherubim Music Trust, and Sands Film Studio for hosting the handover.
Photo by Juliet / Juliet Swan Productions