Hard to believe (well, I find it hard to believe at any rate), that the new season is almost upon us, and the rain pouring down outside our office is confirmation that autumn is pretty much here. Anyway, our 2010-2011 concert season at Southbank Centre kicks off next Thursday and here’s a quick interview with conductor Roberto Polastri. If you fancy spending next Thursday in the company of him, the OAE and the music of Mozart and Pergolesi, then click here to snap up some tickets.

William Norris

What/when was your big breakthrough?

Almost all the things I have done have contributed to my career. I was particularly proud to conduct Cenerentola at Glyndebourne Festival with the LPO and OAE.

What do you fear the most?

Decadence (Alzheimer’s and so on).

Which mobile number do you call the most?

My wife’s.

What – or where – is perfection?

Nowhere, luckily, so that we can try to do better and better.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?

Don Quixote because he lives in a world of his own.

What’s your favourite ritual?

I try to breathe deeply before a concert.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?

Kurtag, because his music touches not only my brain, but also my soul.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?

I’d love to be able to fly.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That there are more things in this life than in all theories about life.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?

Mozart Piano Concerto in D minor, K466.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?

They are open-minded