When did you first know Paul was writing a concerto for you?

Paul had been talking about the concept of writing me a concerto for a long time, but we’re both pretty big dreamers so I didn’t take it particularly seriously. We do our programming for Ensemble Q at least a year in advance, and he had the idea of writing the concerto for cello with wind quintet, rather than orchestra. I take quite a bit of convincing to allow him to put me in the spotlight, but he cleverly coined it in terms of it being a chamber work with what is, of course, my favourite wind quintet, so I agreed to go ahead with it. He started writing it in late January and as we lead fairly ridiculously busy lives, it was finished last week, so I’ve had to put on the accelerator as far as learning the work goes!

Trish O'Brien, Paul Dean, Ensemble QEnsemble Q Co-Artistic Directors Trish O’Brien and Paul Dean

Was the compositional process a collaborative one?

I tried very hard to stay out of the process as much as possible so that he didn’t end up too...