thu 26/11/2020

Classical Features

'This experience has revealed just how much I love music': pianist Paul Lewis on life in lockdown

Paul Lewis

As an instrumentalist, you can sit down and play music and escape from the stress. It’s a privilege to be able to do something that takes you to a different place – you’re removed from everything that’s happening.

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The music of isolation: conductor Ian Page on 18th century 'Sturm und Drang'

Ian Page

My latest recording with The Mozartists is the first in a seven-volume series [reviewed by Graham Rickson in his Classical CDs Weekly column] exploring the so-called “Sturm und Drang” (literally translated, “storm and stress”) movement that swept through music and other art forms between the early 1760s and the early 1780s...

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First Person: Gabriel Prokofiev on 14 years of his Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra

Gabriel Prokofiev

For most people a turntable, or record player is used to play back old vinyls bought from a market or second hand store, or perhaps a carefully packaged reissue of a classic album. We gently place the needle at the beginning of the record and are careful not to scratch the vinyl when we turn it over. But for a turntablist or DJ it is a musical instrument, and they handle it with much greater confidence and familiarity.

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Tuning the focus inward: violinist Esther Yoo on performers facing their demons in a crisis

Esther Yoo

COVID-19 hurls the artist into the unknown. June is the time of year where I, like many, look back on everything I have accomplished over the last two quarters and look forward to my plans and goals for the next six months. As my birthday happens to fall in mid June, it’s a particularly opportune moment for me to think about my personal timeline and envision how I want to commence a new year.

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'Artists' online rivalry feels stronger': pianist Joseph Moog on the difficulties of performing in lockdown

Joseph Moog

It can be found in any contract. Both artists, as well as promoters, are aware of it, but it used to be an exception so rare that only a few have ever experienced it: the clause of "force majeure". Now it is sadly commonplace in the world of the performing arts.

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'In a country of marvellous communicators': violinist Katherine Hunka on life with the Irish Chamber Orchestra

Katherine Hunka

As a musician I spend so much time on the road that a day spent at home is a rarity. And now, with the restrictions we all face, and concerts an impossibility, I am becoming a keen gardener and making a lot of soup. It is also a time of reflection. There is nothing like being told to stay at home to make you think about how home came about, particularly when it’s abroad.

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In memoriam Dmitri Smirnov (1948-2020) - a personal tribute by Gerard McBurney

Gerard McBurney

November 1979… and a small group of Soviet composers (dubbed the "Khrennikov Seven") unexpectedly found themselves the targets of a boorish public assault by that once infamous General Secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers, in a speech at the organisation’s Sixth Congress in Moscow, describing them as “pretentious… pointless… sensation seeking… noisy filth… a so-called ‘avant-garde’…” Dima and his wife,...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 9 - musicians start cautiously reuniting

David Nice

It seems like a different world when the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle gave a full concert to an empty hall as the world began to go into lockdown. Now, on continental Europe at least, orchestral musician plus the occasional star conductor and soloist(s) are cautiously reuniting in smaller numbers, though still as yet without a live audience.

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First Person: CEO Stephen Maddock on the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's strange centenary year

Stephen Maddock

This year was supposed to be so very different. For the best part of the last decade we have been planning a series of major events to take place in 2020 to mark the centenary of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

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Waiving the fees: Rob Adediran on how London Music Masters’ Team Teach is responding to a crisis

Rob Adediran

Our brains are hardwired to respond to crisis by fleeing or fighting. Crisis creates fear and fear demands action so we protect ourselves by running from danger or battling against it. You can see these instinctive responses in the language of the moment where the coronavirus is described as an invisible enemy that must be defeated, and in our actions as we move away from one another to maintain a crucial social distance to protect ourselves and others.

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