Who or what inspired you to take up the violin and make it your career?
My dad originally. He’s a violinist and I heard him practicing as soon as I was born. It seemed like fun – which is a huge tribute to my dad for making it look that way. I don’t think I have successfully communicated a joy of practice to my children, who hear nothing but shouting and swearing from my practice room.
Who or what were the most important influences on your playing/composing?
My teachers were, and continue to be, huge influences. Starting with Sheila Nelson as a child, then Jean-Jaques Kantorow and Ruggiero Ricci as a teenager, with Victor Danchenko at Curtis as my last teacher.
Each one had a massive impact on my playing and my whole approach to music. I can’t imagine not having studied with any of those four teachers.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
Keeping the discipline of every day practice, the neurosis involved in ever taking time off, and balancing the whole thing with a desire to be at home with my kids instead of travelling.
That last part is a real challenge, and not one I particularly relish, as I prefer being at home with my kids to anything else.
Which performances/compositions/recordings are you most proud of?
Without a doubt my new album, Fairy Tales, which is an album for children that took years to put together. I’ve never been so proud of anything, at least professionally. It’s the only thing I’ve recorded which I can actually listen to for fun.
Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in?
The UK has some wonderful halls – Bridgewater Hall, Symphony Hall, the Wigmore.
But for a musician a venue is about more than just the hall itself. I just played in Antalya, Turkey, and the hall was basically next to the beach. You can’t ask for much more than that.
Favourite pieces to perform? Listen to?
Britten concerto, which I have also just recorded, is possibly my favourite piece to play at the moment. Very hard indeed but I would play it every night if someone would let me.
Who are your favourite musicians?
I hate all musicians! Particularly Meghan Cassidy from the Solstice Quartet, who is currently sitting next to me and being distracting.
What is your most memorable concert experience?
I’m hoping it will be tonight, but I might not have practiced enough.
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
I think the simple most important piece of advice I have is that you’d better really want to do it. Otherwise, the sacrifices you need to make will not feel comfortable…
What are you working on at the moment?
Loads of things! Paganini Concerto is currently providing most stress as I haven’t played it since I was a lad and it has apparently got much more difficult.
What is your most treasured possession?
I guess my kids don’t count as “possessions”?!
Probably my violin then…..wouldn’t be able to do much without that.
Matthew Trusler has developed a reputation as one of Britain’s leading violinists, performing with many of the world’s great orchestras, and receiving huge critical acclaim for his diverse recordings. He has also founded the record label Orchid Classics on which some of the most important artists of today are recording, and the Lenny Trusler Children’s Foundation, which raises money for desperately ill babies. Trusler was instrumental in forming the Malmo International String Festival of which he became Artistic Director in 2011, and was in 2012 appointed a director of Delange Artists Management, based in Amsterdam.
Matthew Trusler’s full biography