Will Cale profile June 2023

Introducing... Will Cale, Finance Officer

How did you become involved with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)?

I applied for an accounting assistant role back in autumn 2018 – I was surprised and thrilled to be offered the job! Now I process all of our musicians' fees, amongst other things, which keeps me very busy indeed.

What was your first experience of orchestral music?

After showing an interest in the piano, my parents started introducing me to orchestral music probably around the age of eight or nine. I fondly remember my mum buying me those ‘Music Box’ magazines which came with a CD. Each issue would feature a famous composer and one of their major works, for example Holst’s The Planets, Grieg’s Peer Gynt and Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony.

How did you find yourself on this career journey?

I was in my thirties and wanted to find a job that combined my finance experience with my passion for classical music – I couldn’t have found a more appropriate job.

What is the best thing about being part of the RPO family?

It has to be the opportunity to attend our amazing concerts. Oh, and I guess the people I work with are alright too!

Tell us about your favourite RPO journey.

The first live RPO concert with audience at Cadogan Hall after the Covid-19 restrictions had been eased would be my favourite. There were still some restrictions, so it was a small ensemble and seating was still socially distanced, but it felt simultaneously like the end of a monumentally difficult journey but also the beginning of a new optimistic journey. I will never forget how clearly overjoyed the musicians were to be entertaining a live audience again after such a long time.

Do you have any pre-concert rituals?

Double check I didn’t accidentally switch my phone off silent mode since the last concert!

Must listens – if you had to recommend one artist or composer, who would it be and why?

I’m going to choose Britten’s Violin Concerto. I recently rediscovered this amazing piece and can’t get it out my head.

Symphonic crossover – if you could work with any artist on a performance or project, who would you choose?

Free reign? Anyone I like dead or alive? I’d have to opt for a piano duet session: Igor Stravinsky and I would play the piano reduction of The Rite of Spring.

Away from music, tell us two of your favourite hobbies and why they strike such a chord.

Cycling around London and trying to learn to speak Russian (not at the same time). I think cycling is the absolute best way to get around London – it’s cheap, relatively safe and healthy (important when your job is nearly 100% desk-based). I've been trying to learn to speak Russian since 2005. Just for fun really. It's getting better but it's unbelievably difficult.

Dream dinner party – who would you invite, what would you cook?

Sergei Rachmaninov. Let’s see what he thinks of my Duck Borscht.

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