Carol Hultmark VIOLA

Carol began her life musical playing the violin at the age of 8. Quite a few years later, her dad made a viola, and she then became a violist.

Her professional life began in Iceland and then continued in Sweden where she met her (Swedish) husband who plays the trumpet.

Carol joined the Philharmonia in 1997, but had been playing with the Orchestra regularly since 1989! She has always lived miles away from London, in Bucklebury (made famous by the new Princess Kate) and here she has brought up her two children, one if whom is now a professional bassoonist. Carol's husband helped too - it was a difficult thing, particularly then, to have a family and an orchestral career, but Carol took the children on tour with her a lot - "I think that really widened their world and has given them a hunger to explore the world's riches."

Recently, Carol invested in a flat near Tower Bridge, and this has made life a great deal easier, or it would have if she hadn't recently badly damaged her left arm in a skiing accident.

"I was playing in Klosters at the time for one of the Friends of the Orchestra. I decided to fit in a quick bit of skiing with a friend who is very skilled on the slopes. Unfortunately another skier collided with my shoulder, dislocating and fracturing it. It was the most painful experience of my life and very traumatising for my friend who had to hang onto me whilst I shouted the mountain into a potential avalanche.

But worse, it's left me with a damaged brachial plexus injury. I was left completely paralysed in my left arm, with no feeling or movement at all. I'm making a slow recovery and I'm starting to use my hand more but I've a long way to go, although I've been attempting to play the violin recently as it is easier than the viola! I hope to be back playing as soon as I can but I've warned the 2nd violins that I may have to join them first before I'm skilful enough to go back to the viola!"