sat 01/11/2014

Classical music Interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Jonathan Nott

David Nice

When I entered the light and spacious chief conductor’s room in Bamberg’s Konzerthalle, Jonathan Nott was poised with a coloured pencil over one of the toughest of 20th century scores, Varèse’s...

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10 Questions for Conductor Alan Gilbert

Kimon Daltas

When Alan Gilbert’s Nielsen Project with the New York Phil and Danish label Dacapo is completed next year, it will total four CDs including the six symphonies, three concertos (flute, violin,...

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'For classical musicians, Radiohead are the band'

Alexandra Coghlan

The first time I interviewed Richard Tognetti he told me a story. Prior to touring the Australian Chamber Orchestra to Japan, the group’s leader and artistic director was discussing publicity with a...

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10 Questions for Soprano Sandrine Piau

Sebastian Scotney

French soprano Sandrine Piau, born in 1965 in a south-western suburb of Paris, has an agile, supple voice. It soars, so critics reach readily for all those bird metaphors: nightingale, sparrow, "she...

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10 Questions for Conductor Vladimir Jurowski

Jessica Duchen

The Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski, chief conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, heads its major new series devoted to the music of Sergei Rachmaninov, in context with his forerunners...

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10 Questions for Horn Player Sarah Willis

Jasper Rees

Sarah Willis's day job is as a member of the horn section of the Berlin Philharmonic. In recent years she has also become a roving ambassador for the instrument and a familiar face presenting and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Anne Schwanewilms

David Nice

She is now the world’s leading interpreter of Richard Strauss’s Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, the aristocratic thirtysomething once forced into marriage with a far from ideal husband and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: The Hilliard Ensemble

Matthew Wright

The sophisticated and exquisitely crafted sound of The Hilliard Ensemble has, over the past four decades, become one of the most distinctive pleasures on the choral scene. One of the several pioneers...

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theartsdesk Q&A: violinist Vadim Repin

David Nice

When I last saw Vadim Repin in action, he was premiering a work of terrific energy and invention which is here to stay, James MacMillan's Violin Concerto. Tonight in Birmingham and on Monday at the...

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10 Questions for Cellist Oliver Coates

Joe Muggs

Oliver Coates is the very model of a modern musical generalist – able to jump, or ignore, the boundaries between musical categories yet retaining deep understanding of the nuances of each category or...

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Wagner at the Proms remembered

David Nice

This summer, the Royal Albert Hall became the centre of the Wagnerian universe. No one was going to ignore Bayreuth, where Frank Castorf‘s new Ring gave plenty of fuel for column inches; but somehow...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato

Alexandra Coghlan

She’s the Kansas mezzo-soprano whose ruby slippers have now taken her across the globe, singing in all the great opera houses, but who has never lost the common touch. She’s not a diva, she’s a “...

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10 Questions for Conductor Marin Alsop

Alexandra Coghlan

Marin Alsop may be one of America’s leading conductors, with stints as music director of the Colorado, Eugene and Richmond symphony orchestras, not to mention positions at the Bournemouth Symphony...

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Rhapsody! How to programme a Hollywood Prom

David Benedict

Fingers on buzzers: which piece of music at this year’s Proms boasts a percussion section including glockenspiel, xylophone, five pitches of cowbells, car horn, taxi horn, anvils, revolving door...

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10 Questions for Semyon Bychkov

Jasper Rees

By the time silence descends on the Royal Albert Hall at five o’clock in the afternoon for a performance that will end six hours later, Semyon Bychkov will have been rehearsing for 60 hours. It...

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Sir Richard Rodney Bennett: The Last Interview

John Harle

On Christmas Day last year, we lost Richard Rodney Bennett, a composer and performer who bridged the worlds of classical, jazz and film music with a suave nonchalance that came from inner confidence...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Alexandra Coghlan

It’s only fitting that Sir John Eliot Gardiner should be celebrating his 70th birthday with a concert in the Royal Albert Hall. That it should be a nine-hour marathon of a concert is not only fitting...

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Q&A Special: Conductor Sir Simon Rattle

Jasper Rees

Sir Simon Rattle (b. 1955) and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (est. 1986) have been together from the beginning. Founded by period-instrument musicians eager to run their own affairs...

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10 Questions for Amateur Musician Alan Rusbridger

Jasper Rees

Had we but world enough and time... A new book by the editor of the Guardian makes it clear quite how many hours in the day it takes to run a national newspaper in the digital age. There is the...

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10 Questions for Opera singer Rolando Villazón

Igor Toronyi-Lalic

Few singers provoke more debate than Rolando Villazón. His off-piste projects - from his Romantic exploration of the Baroque to his spell as a talent contest judge - have been much discussed over the...

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