We caught up with Joshua Bloom ahead of his appearances in our Beethoven Symphony Cycle at Saffron Hall and the Barbican in May. Joshua will sing Gerald Barry’s passionate The Conquest of Ireland, which will be paired with Beethoven’s thrilling “Pastoral” Symphony.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Performing in Antony McDonald’s production of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest for Opera Northern Ireland. An absolute joy from start to finish.
When are you happiest?
At home, making coffee on my commercial espresso machine and listening to vinyl records.
What is your greatest fear?
Becoming mortally ill before I’ve had the chance to do everything I want to do in life.
What is your earliest musical memory?
Conducting along to a cassette tape of the highlights of Le Nozze di Figaro. I was probably about seven.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
My oldest friend Martin from Australia. Just an incredible human being.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Drying on a line in The Rake’s Progress in Sydney on opening night and having to be prompted from the pit.
What is your most treasured possession?
My Oracle Delphi Mk.V turntable.
What would your super power be?
If you were an animal what would you be?
A Grizzly Bear.
What is your most unappealing habit?
Saying, “Look” and pointing at people during heated discussions.
What is your favourite book?
Peter Carey’s Collected Short Stories
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Staying up until 3am drinking whisky by myself.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Comedian Stewart Lee and actor Tom Baker.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
How do you relax away from the concert platform?
Walking, reading, listening to music.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Try to be kind and generous to everyone. I’m not a spiritual person but I do believe in karma.
In a nutshell, what is your philosophy?
Do the best you can at everything you set your mind to, and try to be a decent human being.
Tickets are on sale now for Beethoven Symphony No. 6 (“Pastoral”), with Joshua Bloom performing Gerald Barry’s The Conquest of Ireland at Saffron Hall (20 May) and the Barbican (24 May). Find out more about other concerts in the Beethoven Symphony Cycle here.