One ®ne autumn day in 1974, two wide-eyed, excited little girls set foot for the ®rst time on the threshold of Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. Eleven years old and ¯ushed with their scholarships, both had been discovered and promoted by their perceptive teachers. There was no question about their intellectual gifts or their musical talents: they had passed their auditions with ¯ying colours. The path they had set their little feet on was to be a life of hard work towards the goal of musical fame.