Maxine Kwok – Six in Sixty

London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) violinist and board member Maxine Kwok is in the hot seat for our first “Six in Sixty” series

  1. Early bird or night owl?
    Definitely a night owl. Because of concerts I find I have too much adrenaline afterwards so it means I can stay up extremely late chatting to friends before I really wind down.
  2. Can’t go on tour without…?
    An iPad and my neck pillow. I would never turn on the TV in a hotel room because the mindless scrolling was such a time waster but now with Netflix, it’s great to actually watch something intentionally. The neck pillow actually turns inside out and is a penguin so people see it hanging off my bag at the airport and think I’m incredibly childish but it has a purpose! (OK I am actually pretty childish too!)
  3. One routine you swear by?
    For me the most important routine I have is keeping in touch with friends. This was heightened during the pandemic as living on my own could have been very isolating, but I’m very sociable and I love to be in touch with all my friends, especially since my closest ones live abroad.
  4. Favourite city to perform in and why?
    I love going to Tokyo because Suntory Hall is such a lovely place to perform and I really go crazy over having authentic Japanese food.
  5. Guilty pleasure/indulgence?
    Playing the violin can be physically draining so an indulgence if I had time would be a relaxing spa day. Something a little more down to earth and definitely a guilty pleasure would be a tasty meal of fish and chips!
  6. Most impressive selfie and who’s next on your list?
    I have many autographs and selfies from the LSO recordings and concerts I’ve been involved with these last 20 years, but the funniest one was probably asking George Clooney (who was directing a film we were recording the soundtrack for) if he’d like to have his picture taken with me. He really laughed! Not sure who is next but I did once miss out on Meryl Streep who was also at Abbey Road when we were there. That was a shame as I’m a big fan!

Maxine Kwok is a violinist with the LSO, where she serves as a board member and mentor, and an ambassador for the Musicians’ Union and Help Musicians to promote the Musicians’ Census.

To read Maxine Kwok’s diary entry, in a week that saw her contribute to the launch of the UK’s first Musicians’ Census, subscribe to this month’s issue of IAM.

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