Lizzie and I met at some point when we were studying. She was reading music at Cambridge at the time and used to come down to gig in London. We have recorded, toured, made records, put on gigs, jammed (anywhere from the Royal Festival Hall to the back of a minibus) and had so much fun sharing music together. It is my great pleasure to introduce the force of nature that is Lizzie Ball…
Tell us about who you are and what you do
I am Lizzie Ball and I am a professional violinist and vocalist. I am a curator and producer and am the founder of Classical Kicks a live show that presents classical music a fun and down to earth light. I am also co founder of Tracks4Change, a songwriting competition that aims to engage young people with democracy.
How did music get you to where you are now?
Music was always and still is my biggest passion. I knew from a young age I wanted music to be in my life as much as possible, and hoped to make a career from it. I feel lucky that this has been possible for me, but I also know I have worked very hard in order to make my dreams a reality – as well as some luck and help from some great people along the way!
What advice would you give to the parent of someone learning music for the first time?
Support your children as much as you can, particularly with group opportunities, collaborative opportunities as well as in individual practice and lesson time. Be open minded to different musical genres by listening to all sorts of different styles at home or if at all possible live!
Name a piece of music that inspires you and why
So many do that it’s very difficult to answer. I would have to say Nigel Kennedy’s original recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. It was and still is a groundbreaking version of this 400 year old piece of classical music and it put classical music into a different stratosphere of fame, arguably beginning the now very popular classical ‘crossover’ style. Nigel’s playing is unparalleled and his passion and individual approach make it all the more exciting.
Where is the most exciting place music has taken you (venue, country, person to work with etc)?
I’ve been lucky to have had some brilliant experiences over many years travelling around the world with my music. Two particular highlights have been playing at Madison Square Garden with Jeff Beck for Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival and leading Nigel Kennedy’s own Orchestra of Life for over 6 years. With Nigel we have toured the length and breadth of Europe and our 2013 Prom with the Palestine Strings remains the standout performance of my career in terms of the emotional and all round experience.
What made you choose your instrument?
I just really wanted to play the violin one day and wouldn’t stop going on about it to my Mum apparently!
What is the best piece of advice you were given by a music teacher?
Believe in yourself against all the odds and with the right amount of hard work you can achieve more than you can imagine. And have fun with your music!