It’s a beautiful sunny day in April when I settle down to call violinist‐turned‐conductor Thomas Kemp. I cannot help but feel slightly nervous – he has established himself as one of Britain’s most versatile musicians, in demand nationally and internationally.

Born in 1971, Kemp read music at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge before going on to study violin and chamber music at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he now teaches. Conducting, he remarks, became an interest as a matter of course. ‘My background as a violinist has involved chamber music and orchestral leading,’ he explains, ‘and it seemed like a natural progression.’


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