Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mum Adds New String to Her Bow; LIFE as a Musician Is Not All Play When You're a Busy Mother Too, as Iona Brown Tells BARBARA HODGSON

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mum Adds New String to Her Bow; LIFE as a Musician Is Not All Play When You're a Busy Mother Too, as Iona Brown Tells BARBARA HODGSON

Article excerpt

Byline: BARBARA HODGSON

THERE'S no denying all working mothers have a lot on their plate, but I bet none has quite as much to cope with this weekend as Iona Brown.

Iona, who has a four-month-old baby and a toddler, is a violinist with a starring role to play in two Orchestra North East (formerly Durham Sinfonia) concerts - the first in Durham tonight and the second tomorrow in Newcastle.

A double-date of live performances would be tough enough for anyone, but when you've been surviving on very little sleep - Iona has been feeding baby Ben three times a night - it must call for extraordinary stamina.

Yet Iona sounds remarkably upbeat. She laughs when I ask her how she's been coping.

"With difficulty! It's very hard - I'm really struggling with lack of sleep. But it's worth it."

Iona's currently on maternity leave from Northern Sinfonia and has been "guest leading" for Orchestra North East for about 15 years, since coming to the North East.

Born in Manchester, her musical education took place in Leicestershire, then at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester which introduced her, via a student scheme, to Northern Sinfonia.

"They got to know me and offered me extra work," says Iona, now in her late thirties. When a job came up a couple of years later, she applied and got it.

Husband Michael Gerrard is principal viola player with Northern Sinfonia and the couple live in Low Fell, Gateshead, with Ben and Joseph, who's two-and-a-half.

This weekend's concerts are her first work since having Ben and rehearsals began before he was born.

She admits that she thought "long and hard" about it before taking them on.

Initially she accepted what she thought was a rather simpler piece of work after studying a copy of it that she'd bought. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.