Ben Simpson, second oboe

What do you do for a living?
I am a corporate lawyer at Withers LLP and specialise in Mergers and Acquisitions.  I most recently sold a Kazakh gold mining company to a Russian company, Polyus.
Tell us a little about the instrument you play? Do you play any other instrument?
I play on a Howarth S2.  I learnt on an old Loree that I bought from Douglas Boyd which had not much keywork and a delicate tone and so I found an immediate affinity with the S2.
When did you start your musical education?
I started playing the oboe when I was 9.  My father used to accompany Léon Goossens on his tours to the West Country.   My mother had played the oboe and so I was able to start playing with her plastic Boosey & Hawkes oboe having been inspired by Léon. I was also greatly encouraged in my playing by Douglas Boyd who came to stay with us on a couple of occasions when he played for the wind ensemble of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. I owe most to Susan Peel who was a fantastic teacher and surrogate mother and also to her husband Bob who was an inspirational musician when I was at Marlborough and I was also fortunate enough to study informally with Celia Nicklin for a year.
How long have you been with the CCO?
More than 10 years...
What has been your favourite CCO concert?
My first concert in which we played the Schubert 'Great' C Major.  That was the start of a wonderful musical journey with Alan.
Which piece of music do you most enjoy playing?
The Bach F Major sonata which my father and I try to master any time I am at my parents' and his harpsichord is in tune.
If you could take a recording of one piece of music to a desert island, what would it be?
Bach's St Matthew’s Passion.
Who are your musical heroes?
Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Richard Strauss, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach.
When was the last time you attended a concert as one of the audience?
Tosca at the Royal Opera House.
What do you listen to in the car?
Nursery rhymes — there's a particularly catchy one about a buzzy bee.
What are your other interests?
Being a Dad to our little boy Edward, when not stuck in the office.