sun 18/04/2021

First Person

First Person: violinist Abigail Young on getting back to her Japanese orchestra in Covid year

February 2020: an item a long way down the agenda of the nightly news caused me to remark, fairly casually, “I wonder if that will affect me”. I had already heard about Covid-19, the new virus emerging from China; now it was spreading...

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First Person: Anna Lucia Richter on Monteverdi and a transition from soprano to mezzo

It’s actually quite a strange feeling to know that my CD Il delirio della passione is now out. I recorded this amazing, all-embracing Monteverdi project with Luca Pianca and Ensemble Claudiana over a year ago, in January 2020. That was another world...

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‘The Healing Power of Music’: composer Nigel Hess on great-aunt Myra’s wartime concerts

It has been well-documented over the last few months that there has been an upsurge in listener numbers for many radio stations offering classical music – notably BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and Scala Radio – and, during these unprecedented times it...

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Classical musicians on life after Brexit - 4: singers speak out

Forget the pandemic, it's Brexit which could ring the death knell for artists who are currently hoarse from begging to be taken seriously as a respected export. From Tchaikovsky to Britten, music itself has always been offered visa free but as the...

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Classical musicians on life after Brexit - 3: violinist Sara Deborah Struntz-Timossi

Sara Deborah Struntz-Timossi is an international award-winning violinist who has toured with early music ensembles like the European Union Baroque Orchestra, Dunedin Consort and The English Concert, as well as performing across Europe as a soloist...

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'Having to establish a real conversation with the audience is a good challenge': Raffaello Morales on a possible musical future

As this most remarkable year prepares to enter the history books, most of us who are part of the music industry have come to realise that the western world is desperately looking for solutions to an emergency of unprecedented dimensions in post...

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First Person: conductor Johannes Vogel on Beethoven’s Ninth as re-orchestrated by Mahler

Think of the finale at a big fireworks show: the anticipation; the build up. There is nothing bigger than the Ninth Symphony. It is the climax of this year’s Beethoven celebrations. A year ago, no-one would have expected 2020 to be turned upside...

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First Person(s): soprano Susan Bullock and baritone William Dazeley on filming Britten’s Owen Wingrave

Two of the singers in an ambitious project to film Britten’s opera based on a Henry James story – part timeless tale of repressive tradition which chimed with the composer's pacifist beliefs, part ghost story – which was originally “made for...

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Not-quite-solitude on the 34th floor: violinist Maxine Kwok on the short film 'Rising'

2020: a year that at some point felt like the end of live performance for the world of the performing arts, certainly for the foreseeable future. Artists spent months without any form of collaboration, leading to a serious lack of motivation due to...

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First Person: Avi Avital on 'Art of the Mandolin'

The mandolin is an instrument everybody has heard of without necessarily knowing much about it. Its history has been written by lovers of the instrument, often amateur players who are drawn to its approachable and appealing character, integrating it...

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‘Our whole industry is supported by vulnerable freelance creators': Chen Reiss on the artist in a time of Coronavirus

I am not the first to say this, and I won’t be the last, but what a strange year 2020 has become! I am learning afresh what it is to be both a singer and a parent and, although we have all been kept closed in our little home “bubbles,” we are...

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First Person: horn player Alec Frank-Gemmill on authenticity and enlightenment in lockdown

The UK’s music industry is in dire straits and my heart goes out to friends and colleagues in financial need. For a proper discussion of the current situation, I refer you to Sophia Rahman’s excellent article for theartsdesk. What I have written...

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