"I had the pleasure of attending several week-long courses as a song/opera pianist from 2015 to 2017. The first of these courses focussed on French song and grand opera, led by Natalie Dessay, Laurent Naouri and Roger Vignoles. I was so nervous when I arrived at the start of the week. I had only just graduated from conservatoire and was fairly new to the world of song and opera pianism. I felt completely out of my depth, and more than a little intimidated by the presence of such experienced superstars. But there was such a lovely supportive atmosphere among the young artists on the course, and Natalie, Laurent and Roger immediately put us at ease. They ate lunch with us each day and often joined us for a beer in the evenings, recounting stories from their careers, and treating us like friends. For me, the standout moment of the week was playing Duparc's Phidyle in a public masterclass. As the final page of epic piano solo writing drew near, Roger leaned over and said, "Just go for it!" To feel so encouraged and supported by my idols in the industry was an incredibly special gift, and I left at the end of the week, feeling that I genuinely belonged in this wonderful music industry.It's been so exciting to see how BPYAP has developed since my time there. As wonderful as the week-long courses were, the long-term mentorship that I received as the inaugural Viola Tunnard Artist was really transformational. I'm thrilled that that approach is now extending across BPYAP, and I'm really excited to see how it transforms the artistry of everyone lucky enough to be a part of it."