Charles HazlewoodCharles Hazlewood opens our 2011-2012 Southbank Centre season with us tomorrow, conducting music by Weber and Mendelssohn, in our Fingers, Felix and the Freeshooter concert. Later on, he’ll join us in The Night Shift.

What/when was your big breakthrough?

Winning the European Broadcasting Union Conducting Competition in 1995

What do you fear the most? 

Losing my children

What – or where – is perfection?

At the end of the rainbow I guess, or in Mozart’s Magic Flute

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

Withnail (from the film Withnail & I) because he’s a very flawed (sort of) genius whose own worst enemy is most definitely himself.

What’s your favourite ritual? 

Story telling or making risotto

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

Nelson Mandela

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?

Malibu surfing.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To breathe

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

The slow movement of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante K364, Sibongile Khumalo live at the Market Theatre and Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, even stevens.

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

The sound and the way they listen

Concert details and booking