I was born in Buckinghamshire to a musical family. When I was 2, we inherited grandmother’s Bluthner piano. It was infested with mice, which awoke my interest in the instrument, and I started piano lessons at 4. Tuition on violin, cello, classical guitar, trumpet and church organ followed.
Another inheritance – of £500 from my grandfather with the instruction “use it unwisely” – led me to buy an electronic organ when I was 15. Although it was a rather ropey machine, which sounded more like a stylophone, it led me to greater things later on in life when the keyboard orchestra was invented.
When I was 16 I won an Arts Festival Bursary to study piano with The Royal Academy’s Christopher Elton, whilst continuing classical organ studies with Julian Larkin. At 18, I went to the Royal College of Music to study piano, organ and composition.