sat 13/02/2016

Classical music Interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Pierre Boulez

Igor Toronyi-Lalic

David Nice writes: it hardly seemed possible, but a pivotal figure in the 20th century music scene has died, two months short of his 91st birthday. As composer, Boulez now seems not so much a game-...

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Jaap van Zweden: ‘A great orchestra needs to be a chameleon’

Gavin Dixon

Jaap van Zweden is going places. At 55, he is already 16 years into a second high-profile musical career. His first, as a violinist, saw him appointed leader of the Concertgebouw, the youngest ever...

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We Made It: Concert hall acoustics

David Kettle

Glasgow has a brand new concert hall, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra has a brand new home. A move for the Orchestra from Henry Wood Hall, a converted church in the city’s West End it has...

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10 Questions for Composer Ludovico Einaudi

Adam Sweeting

Last month, Ludovico Einaudi's album Elements debuted at No 12 on the UK album charts, which made it the highest-charting modern classical album since Henryk Górecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Elizabeth Watts

David Nice

Not many people write conspicuously brilliant tweets, but Elizabeth Watts is someone who does. Working on the most demanding aria on her stunning new CD of operatic numbers and cantatas by the lesser...

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10 Questions for Nicola Benedetti and Wynton Marsalis

Jasper Rees

He’s an American jazz giant; she’s a Scottish doyenne of the classical violin. Anyone familiar with one more than the other – and that’s more or less everyone – would do a double take to see their...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Edward Gardner

Jasper Rees

It’s odd seeing the whole of Edward Gardner, as upright as a guardsman until a passionate passage unleashes a repertoire of fierce jabs, deft feints and rapid thrusts. For nine years Gardner's main...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Stephen Kovacevich

David Nice

“Whatever happened to Stephen Bishop?” is not a question likely to be asked by followers of legendary pianism. Born in San Pedro, Los Angeles on 17 October 1940, the young talent took his stepfather’...

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10 Questions for Conductor Peter Phillips

Sebastian Scotney

Peter Phillips founded the Tallis Scholars, a vocal group specializing in the sacred music of the Renaissance, in 1973 while still a student. He has been directing the ensemble ever since: it is...

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Q&A Special: Pianist Lucas Debargue

Ismene Brown

Last week the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow was rung down with a sigh of relief for the home team, with once again a Russian pianist in possession of the gold medal, Dmitry...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Yevgeny Sudbin

David Nice

Whatever the recording industry may try to tell you, there is rarely any such thing as a single “best” among today’s pianists. We’ve had Benjamin Grosvenor and Leif Ove Andsnes, excellent artists...

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10 Questions for Composer Unsuk Chin

Gavin Dixon

There is no mistaking the music of Unsuk Chin. Born in Korea and based in Berlin, Chin brings a range of cultural perspectives to her work. She often describes her music in terms of light and colour...

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10 Questions for Composer Dobrinka Tabakova

Sebastian Scotney

There is everything of the quiet achiever about Dobrinka Tabakova. The softly-spoken Bulgarian-British composer was born in 1980 into a music-loving family of doctors, scientists and academics in the...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Sakari Oramo

David Nice

Rattle and the Berliners went home at the beginning of the week with vine-leaves in their hair. There's now something else to celebrate. Exactly one week on from the second concert in their Sibelius...

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10 Questions for Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor

Jessica Duchen

At all of 22, the British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor has already become one of the best-loved solo pianists in the UK, with an international career that spans the globe. A remarkable child prodigy...

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Miloš Karadaglić, 'the guitar player of the people'

Adam Sweeting

Compared to grand divas, virtuoso pianists or stupendous fiddlers, legends of the classical guitar have been few in number. Once you've ticked off Segovia, Julian Bream and John Williams you're...

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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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