sat 24/07/2021

Classical Features

First Person: Héloïse Werner on a live collaboration with fellow composers and performers

Héloïse Werner

It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to perform with musicians like the ones I’ll be sharing the St John’s Smith Square stage with on Saturday 3 July; organist Kit Downes and cellist Colin Alexander are some of the best musicians I know. I say “share the stage”, but that’s not technically correct.

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'In music, we are together': saxophonist Jess Gillam on returning to concerts with audience

Jess Gillam

For over a year, many concert halls' doors have been firmly shut, the curtains drawn and the lights out. As we begin to emerge into a new world and live performance makes a comeback, I feel we are facing a bittersweet moment in the arts.

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First Person: Roxanna Panufnik on a new version of her 'Letters from Burma' in aid of Myanmar refugees

Roxanna Panufnik

A month ago, I sat in St Martin-in-the Fields listening to London Mozart Players recording my orchestral version of Letters from Burma. I have never been to Burma but I was inspired to compose this work after reading a collection of 54 letters by Aung San Suu Kyi. The first excitement that morning was to be in the presence of an orchestra.

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From cancellation to new vigour: pianist and artistic director Joseph Middleton on Leeds Lieder

Joseph Middleton

April 2020 was to have been the celebratory 10th Anniversary Festival of Leeds Lieder, the organisation I’ve been fortunate enough to direct since late 2014.

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First Person: Boris Giltburg on lockdown interruptions to filming Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas

Boris Giltburg

About a year ago, in a distant pre-pandemic world, I remember walking down Edgware Road one cold London evening. I was heading towards Jaques Samuel Pianos, my favourite haunt in London, to meet filmmaker Stewart French from Fly On The Wall.

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First Person: composer and Renaissance man Tunde Jegede on transcending genres

Tunde Jegede

In this era when there is so much talk and discussion around crossing musical boundaries, diversity in music and inter-disciplinary work it seems strange that there is still so little knowledge of how, why and when it works. Ironically, much of this type of work and collaborative process is much older than we often think and give credit to.

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

Abigail Young

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 into places where I earned my living. I was beginning to worry.

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

Nigel Hess

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 comes as no surprise to discover that so many people (of all ages) are finding...

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

Sara Deborah St

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 and chamber musician.

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Classical musicians on life after Brexit - 2: violinist Victoria Sayles

Victoria Sayles

In March 2020, all my work in Australia and Sweden, where I had won contracts for several months to come, was cancelled on the day I was due to fly. Both organisations who had engaged me promptly honoured their contracts with me financially nevertheless.

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