Born in London, Etty started learning the violin aged three, and took up the trumpet at the age of eight. She later began learning the cello and was accepted into the Royal College of Music junior department at the age of 13, studying both cello and trumpet.
Etty’s studies on the trumpet continued with a Bachelor of Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), graduating in June 2015. Etty’s teachers at the RCS were the inspiring Mark O’Keeffe and Peter Franks, and she benefited from frequent orchestral repertoire sessions taken by John Gracie. Etty continued playing the cello throughout her degree, with second study lessons from a host of fantastic teachers.
During her time at the RCS, Etty was twice selected for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Mentoring Scheme, the highlight of which was accompanying the orchestra on tour to India as one of thirteen RCS students, conducted by James MacMillan and joined by soloist Nicola Benedetti. The tour included many educational concerts with Indian school children, as well as a concert broadcast live on Indian TV and radio, and back to the UK on BBC Radio 3.
Recent orchestral highlights include performing Mahler Symphony No.8 with the Amadeus Orchestra and participating in the Britten-Pears Orchestra summer course conducted by Oliver Knussen.
Etty enjoys travelling with her trumpets, and has particularly enjoyed visiting Italy, Germany and the USA to receive tuition from some of the best teachers in the world.
Etty’s place in Southbank Sinfonia is generously supported by Thomas’s Schools.
What or who inspired you to become a professional musician?
I initially thought I wanted to be a doctor, and made the appropriate subject choices for that at school, but it was whilst watching the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition on TV that I realised I was making a mistake. I noticed that the sheer joy and excitement I got from watching those incredible young musicians achieve so much was a much stronger feeling than I’d ever had about any other subject or career prospect. So I knew that nothing other than being a professional musician would truly make me happy.
What do you love about classical music?
Anyone who loves classical music (or any music really), has their own personal and unique relationship with it, and yet can connect to another person from an entirely different background, belief, country, ethnicity, age, etc. just through sharing enjoyment in a piece of music. I often feel myself almost trapped in my personal music world, getting frustrated over some trivial practise point – when all I have to do is remember that every single person on the planet has heard some form of music and experienced an emotional response, and that we should never lose sight of that connectivity we all share.
What’s on your playlist right now?
Classical – Reinhold Friedrich, Håkan Hardenberger and Maurice Andre (mostly Baroque trumpet concertos), Mahler Symphony No.9 LSO live recording with Valery Gergiev, and Britten The Prince of the Pagodas ballet recorded by the London Sinfonietta with Oliver Knussen.
Jazz – Louis Armstrong, Wynton Marsalis, Tutti Camarata, Buddy Rich, Gene Harris and Oscar Peterson.
Other – Elbow, Guy Garvey, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Sigur Ros, Muse, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour…too many to list!