There was lots of music in the house when we were growing up. My mother’s an avid pianist, and when I was young she used to play and my sisters and I would listen and occasionally sing. I have great memories of that. In fact, she was an accompanist for our primary school choir, and when my sister was in it, I remember our school making the finals of the Eisteddfod. That was held in the Sydney Opera House, so mum got to play on the Concert Hall grand piano, which I think was a highlight for her.

Consequently, all three of us, my sisters and I, learned piano. I did both piano and musicianship up until grade four level, and I stopped just before I started year 11. Perhaps I was a bit too focused on getting a good HSC mark – I kind of regret it in a way.

Don Harwin, Arts Minister, NSW