Did a career in music seem like an inevitability to you? You come from a remarkably musical family after all.

I do, especially the family on my mum’s side. Mum [Neta Maughan] has been a piano teacher for 50 years, and many of those years were spent at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. I spent a lot of time running up and down the halls there as a delinquent toddler, rounding corners and hearing the most amazing ensembles and orchestras and every piano piece you could imagine. I suppose there was an inevitability about it because music accompanied everything I did.

Tamara-Anna Cislowska. Photo © Steven Godbee

Does your mother remain a strong musical influence, and did you have any other important teachers growing up?

She does. She rang me the other day to criticise something I’d played on the radio so there you are, it never stops [laughs]. She’s a woman with incredibly high standards and she assisted Alexander Sverjensky as a very young woman – he’s one of the founding fathers of music in this country. He brought the music of Prokofiev and Rachmaninov to...