‘The Steeple Times’ asks conductor, keyboard player and historical performance specialist Ian Peter Bugeja: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
An insatiable thirst for knowledge.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
“L’État, c’est moi”.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2015?
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana: Could they possibly be more hypocritical or more homophobic?
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
I don’t miss anything because the minute I find myself missing something, I go ‘out there’ and get it.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
Peace of mind.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
I’m no expert, but I blame the irrational financiers who claimed to have found a way to banish risk when in fact they had simply lost track of it. The situation was exacerbated by the many regulators who tolerated such a folly.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“YOLO” (“You only live once”).
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
Charity does indeed begin at home. I personally support Cancer Research UK and Merlin/Save the Children.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
Mobile phones are wonderful devices that can keep us connected but we must be careful not to let the use of such devices replace human interaction. I personally prefer actual reality to virtual reality.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
My fellow passengers would be my closest friends and family, as well as some of the most inspiring collaborators I have had the privilege of working with thus far.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
My last meal would probably consist of cheese soup, followed by pan-fried veal escalope cooked with vermouth and orange. I’d finish with lots of sorbet and ice-cream. Regarding the ‘where’, I guess it would have to be in prison, as one doesn’t exactly have much of a choice if they’re on death-row.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
I believe that it’s perfectly acceptable to consume the first drink of the day at 11am, as long as it’s a gin and tonic; the only drink acceptable to consume earlier than that is champagne – and that’s to compliment salmon, eggs and caviar for breakfast, of course.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
A martini, although, sometimes, only a cup of tea can make everything better.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
I attend many fabulous parties hosted by friends and co-workers, so I could no sooner pick a favourite star in the heavens.
Who is the most positive person you know?
My father: He is an eternal optimist.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Cheese: I’m a real cheese addict.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
It would be of my idol Louis XIV. Tattoos don’t suit me though so I would never get one.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
I’d be a Jaguar.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I founded my first ensemble at the age of 14. Less than a month after setting it up, we started giving regular concerts.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
A peony bouquet in a small vase, a mantel clock, and a miniature replica of the Mikhail Kozlovsky ‘Peterhof Samson’.
Conductor and keyboard player Ian Peter Bugeja is a historical performance specialist and the founder and executive director of Les Bougies Baroques, a period instrument ensemble. He is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the University of Malta. He has worked with groups and orchestras including the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra and the RWCMD Chamber Orchestra.
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