Alison Balsam photo

TSF 26: Alison Balsom – Classical Trumpet Soloist

Alison Balsom is a Classical Trumpet Soloist. She has won three Classic Brit Awards and was named Artist of the Year at the 2013 Gramophone Awards as well as being a soloist at the Last Night of the Proms in recent years. 
What lessons has your work life taught you?
Be fearless but always have compassion whilst keeping focussed on the long game.

Favourite book?
Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.

What qualifications do you need in your industry?
None, but imagination, talent, luck, discipline, drive, courage and charm are essential.

Best beauty buys?
Chanel eye liner every time.

What’s your daily uniform?
Lulu lemon or Belstaff casual.

What are you most proud of?
My son.

What should someone expect to earn in your field?
An awful lot if you say yes to every invitation to a Symphony Orchestra!

Make up your ultimate ‘super band’…
Well, it would sound odd, but Brian May on guitar, Gwilym Simcock on piano, Don Was on bass, Stuart Copeland on drums.

If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?
Please can it be Uma Thurman Kill Bill style…? So sassy and fearless.

What’s your fail-safe impressive dinner menu?
Ottolenghi stuffed mushrooms and a roast lamb

What are your ‘on duty’ and ‘off duty’ looks?
On duty, manly tailoring and expensive trousers, off duty: button down the front pjs and long chic dressing gown as late into the day as possible.

Best way to wind down?
Hobie-cat sailing.

Favourite city in the UK and why (excluding London)?
Winchester. So enchanting, sophisticated and friendly.

Top tip for talking about pay at work?
Know your worth on your best day!

Most embarrassing item in your wardrobe?
Luminous pink denim mini-skirt? I picked it up in Santa Barbara – not sure why.

Favourite drink discovery?
Amarula – I honestly only just discovered it this week on my birthday!

Home is…?
Wherever I feel like dancing around in the kitchen

Music I’m listening to?
Currently listening to as much Baroque music from central Europe as I can find for research purposes!

The book you most enjoyed reading?
Many, but I remember reading Life of Pi when it was just out, and telling everyone they HAD to read it

What would you delete from your CV?
Nothing – all paths lead to Rome!

Most treasured trinket?
My diamond Tiffany roman numural ring

Who should feature next as a Three Six Fiver?
Nicky Benedetti – she’s a ferocious talent, brain and person – also happens to have supermodel style and looks. 

Has anyone left you star struck?
Kirsty Young doing Desert Island Discs the other day. She couldn’t be more impressive

What should people look out for? 
My next Royal Albert Hall show – date to be announced!