Workdays and Weekends: Peter Rutterford

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Perth Festival of the Arts kicks off on Monday, and it's sure to be two great weeks! One of the highlights of Scotland's cultural calendar, the festival takes place in a variety of great venues in Perth from the Concert Hall to The Loft Nightclub, and you can view the full programme here >>>.

Organising a festival like this must be a very challenging job! So despite this being a very busy period for him, we managed to catch up with the chairman of Perth Festival of the Arts, Peter Rutterford, to find out more about the fantastic work that he does but also what he likes to do in his spare time!

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

Although I am officially retired after a 36 year music career in the Royal Marines, I still work in the industry. I conduct Perth and Crieff choral societies and organise, rehearse and conduct the rehearsals and concerts. I have concerts in November, December and before Easter. In addition to this I am the Chairman of the annual Perth Festival of the Arts, which keeps me busy throughout the year and I help to organise the artistes, musicians and performers who will be attending!

What signals the start of your weekend / days off?

I work a lot of evenings so my days are generally free but I often work at weekends with concerts. For leisure, I enjoy walking my two Samoyed dogs and as we live in the country there is nothing better than taking them out and enjoying the Perthshire countryside and the sounds and sights of nature.

What might people be surprised to know about you?

I spent two years teaching music in Oman to youngsters, some of whom were actual Bedouins from the desert! They were quick to learn and I introduced the clarinet and saxophone to them for their band.

Workdays and Weekends - Peter Rutterford holding dog

Top of your bucket list?

Last year I achieved my number one thing on my bucket list by going to hear Wagner’s Ring cycle at Bayreuth, Germany. This year, after the Festival, I am traveling to Alaska in June/July which is now top of my list! We will travel through the Rocky Mountains by train and then cruise from Vancouver to Alaska and back, it will be the trip of a lifetime! After this there will be a new number one on my bucket list and I will continue to travel, which I love, for as long as possible.

Worst job you’ve ever had?

At fourteen I went to the Royal Marines School of Music to study and - on fatigues - we often had to sweep up the leaves on the parade ground during the autumn (millions of them) and peel tatties in the galley! (millions of them as well!) That was never much fun. Our apprenticeship lasted 4 years - but we did do music as well!

Who or what inspires you?

Many things inspire me, like going to concerts and the theatre, seeing great conductors and hearing great music. This encourages me to always give my best performance when I perform.

Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again?

For many years I conducted in the Royal Albert Hall which was an invigorating experience. We did three nights - Thursday, Friday and Saturday every year and when I retired I thought I would never do that again so I would like to go back and do that one more time. However, each year I still conduct the Royal Marines at their Perth concert which I love!

What’s the best part about your job?

It's a great privilege to be Chairman of Perth Festival of the Arts and this gives me the opportunity to invite many famous people to Perth to take part in the Festival, plus I get the opportunity to meet them! I also still enjoy conducting which is always a great thrill at concerts.

What’s in the perfect day off breakfast?

A boiled egg and toast on a Sunday morning... it has become a weekend ritual at home!

Workdays and Weekends - Peter Rutterford in suit

Complete this sentence; The best things in life are….

Days spent walking my Samoyed dogs! We now have a new puppy, so life is quite hectic at the moment with 5am starts in the morning - it’s like having a new baby! However, the love and affection you get from animals is a wonderful experience and the exercise walking the dogs helps keep me fit, and you need to remain fit for conducting concerts and for the hectic life running a Festival!


If you would like to book tickets for any of the events during Perth Festival of the Arts, visit the website for more details >>>.

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