Meet Our Musicians: Nathaniel Boyd

Posted on August 7, 2014

We recently caught up with Manchester Camerata cellist Nathaniel Boyd, fresh from performing with the World Orchestra for Peace at the BBC Proms.

Nathaniel BoydHe tells us more about himself, his music and why he loves playing with Camerata.

Favourite Camerata concert to date?

Anything with Gábor has been memorable – the Beethoven concert we did in May with him was amazing.  And Giovanni Sollima – that was a real highlight for me.

Why the cello – what first attracted you to the instrument?

As the youngest of five children the cello was kind of selected for me as my four older siblings were already playing the violin and the piano!

Anything special about your instrument?

I play a beautiful Grancino cello, made in Milan in 1695.  My fellow Camerata cellist, and former teacher Hannah Roberts, also plays a Grancino which is a nice link between us.

Is there anyone who has particularly inspired you like a teacher, mentor or fellow musician?

Gábor is an inspiring musician – as well as conducting Camerata he was my mentor for a number of years at the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall.  Ralph Kirshbaum and Ferenc Rados are also two musicians  who have had an influence on me.

Favourite piece of music, either Classical or non-Classical?

Anything by either Beethoven or Nina Simone.

What do you play for fun?

Probably like most string players I go for Bach, so Bach Cello Suites.

You’re a member of the World Orchestra for Peace – what was it like performing with them at this year’s Proms?

It was an amazing experience, they are all such great musicians so it was really very exciting.  The World Orchestra for Peace is made up of musicians from all over the world, so the cello section had principals from orchestras such as the Paris Opera, La Scala, Vienna Philharmonic and Budapest Festival Orchestra to name a few.  The sound was unique – very individual and passionate.

What do you do when you’re not performing?

I’m from a family of visual artists so in my spare time I paint and sculpt.  I do exhibit sometimes and have sold a few pieces.

What makes Camerata special for you?

I feel that the Camerata has its musical priorities in the right order – the spirit and desire to express something new through music is the most important thing.