No doubt my parents exerted great influence over me in a personal sense, and helped me both grow up in an excellent family atmosphere and become who I am. My brother was my room mate for several years, so that I could learn a lot from him. Nevertheless, in professional terms, I think my first teachers at school were the most important women in my life, and I could even say that my music teacher was the man who really knew how to switch on a kind of special light inside me. When I was ten, he discovered my talent for music and took over in order to develop it. He invited me to join the school choir and orchestra, first as a singer and later as a bass player. He was always suggesting I improve my technique, and treated me as his own son. When I left school, the UVA choir conductor kept on giving me his help and support. And now, when I look back over my shoulder, I think I am indebted to all of them, as I cannot imagine my life without music at all.