Kevin Saw, BMus Violin
How are you getting on with your studies?
Really good, I’m really enjoying it. We have String Orchestra tomorrow, which is exciting. What I find with the School is that everyone is so supportive. I thought music college would be so competitive – it really isn’t. Everyone here is here to support you.
Because I’m in first year, I thought I wouldn’t get many performance opportunities. For me, I came here and had performances lined up before Christmas, and I thought that’s really exciting, as that’s why I came here.
What was your background?
I wasn’t going to do music. I’m from Malaysia and I came over and went to Wells Cathedral School for 3 years. My parents wanted me to do economics and thought I wasn’t prepared for how cut throat music gets. I ended up liking music more so I auditioned to music colleges.
What was your audition like?
Really, really friendly. It’s the last one I had. I walked in the door and it was two smiley people. I wasn’t expecting a warm welcome into an audition. They were generally interested in what I wanted out from my education here. They were asking me what I was planning to do and how I was going to get there. I liked how it was personal and I really enjoyed it.
What do you think of the atmosphere at RNCM and in Manchester?
It’s friendly. You walk into the refectory and everyone is chatting, laughing and smiling. It’s amazing, because usually you’d think people would feel quite stuck just doing music for four years, and the last thing you’d expect is to see people hanging around in the College, but that’s what you see here. I do feel at home here, it’s such a modern building, but so homely as well.
Manchester is such a vibrant city. Up north everyone is so friendly. I was so shocked when I came here – everyone smiles at you in the street! You just realise it’s a nice culture here, so I really enjoy it.
What are you looking forward to?
An RNCM conductor friend of mine is starting a new project for string orchestra, which is quite exciting. It will be classical music and Portuguese music combined
I’m interested in orchestral projects, so the opportunity to do work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra – that sounds very exciting. It would be very cool.
Do you have a specific style you enjoy playing?
I used to prefer Romantic music only. Now that I’ve come here, I have lots of friends on the pop course and I’ve learned a lot – that music’s actually just about really enjoying it and whatever you do it’s to serve the feeling you’re going to get out of it. You can forget that music really is about deep down, and I found that again.