Naomi Buckfield

In by Alison Stewart

When and why did you start playing the violin?
I started playing the violin at the age of 7 because my Mum played and I wanted to too!

Is music your main profession?
Sadly, no. I have been a professional popcorn popper in the past and I am just about to start a career in finance.

Describe your journey with that instrument.
My teacher from the age of 7 to 18 was Pat Woodsford with the Jersey Instrumental Service and she taught me up to grade 8 standard before I left the island to continue my studies. I went to the University of Chichester from 2007 to 2010 where I was taught by Eulalie Charland for two years. In my third year I specialised in musical composition so I continued my violin playing in the University Chamber Orchestra and the main highlight of that year would have been playing Dvorak 8.

How long have you played for the JSO?
I have played for the JSO for 9 years and the first concert I played in was actually on my 16th birthday! Before I joined the orchestra though, I sang in the Jersey Symphony Chorus for the Last Night of the Proms in 2002.

What has been your favourite JSO concert that you have performed in?
I have played in a fair few memorable concerts with the JSO and I can’t pick just one favourite. My top three would have to be Summer 2009 with Lesley Garrett, Spring 2014 with the Shostakovitch 5 and the Sibelius Violin Concerto and of course Spring 2005 which was my very first concert as a member of the orchestra.

Do you play any other instruments or belong to any other musical groups on the island?
I play the flute (not in public) and I sing as a soprano in the Jersey People’s Choir and St. Helier Parish Church Choir.

Who is your favourite composer and why?
It’s difficult for me to explain who is my favourite composer and why. I would probably have to say Jean Sibelius for listening to because I find his melodies generate some amazing imagery but Beethoven for playing as it’s well structured and he was somewhat kind to violinists!

What is your favourite piece of classical music and why?
In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg – it’s just fantastic!

What music do you listen to?
If I like how it sounds, I will pretty much listen to any kind of music.

What do you love about Jersey?
It’s so beautiful when the weather is nice.

What one thing would you change about Jersey?
I wouldn’t want to change anything!

What other passions do you have in life apart from music?
I love film and am a regular cinema-goer, I enjoy playing video games and reading.

What do orchestras need to do to attract larger audiences?
I think they need to appeal to the younger generation more, perhaps not just focusing on the well-known composers but integrate more popular culture including video game and film soundtracks into concerts.

How best do we encourage young people to become interested in classical music?
I have no idea as I never needed any encouragement!

If you could visit any musical period or see/meet/hear or play with any artist, what would you choose? 
I would love to get up on stage with a band called ‘Within Temptation’, either as part of their backing orchestra or singing backing vocals.