tue 18/05/2021

Classical Features

‘We must not allow boorish, opportunistic autocrats to hijack music’: Gabriela Montero on life and art

Gabriela Montero

For as long as I can remember, there has been a continuous loop of original music playing in my mind. My father used to joke about my “tuyuyo” – a little bump I have on the back of my head – that it was my personal repository for music. My husband, less versed in Venezuelan colloquialisms, simply refers to it as “the iPod”.

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theartsdesk at the Tsinandali Festival: young Caucasians join hands and instruments

David Nice

Two hours' drive from Tbilisi over a beautiful mountain pass, lushly wooded on the descent, the Tsinandali Estate has been central to Georgia's wine-growing district of Kakheti since poet-prince Prince Alexander Chavchavadze produced the first bottle in 1841.

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'A laboratory for everything': Jasper Parrott on the future of his classical music agency

Jasper Parrott

Fiftieth anniversary? It seems incredible but also so exhilarating not least because these times we live in now seem to me to be a golden age for music of all kinds and in particular for what we label so inadequately classical music.

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Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva on the London Piano Festival: 'It's not just playing one concert and going home'

Charles Owen An

We’ve been friends for many years, since the mid-1990s when we were both studying at the Royal College of Music with the same inspirational piano teacher, Irina Zaritskaya. Our first duo performance was in 2001 at the Homecoming Festival in Moscow, when we realised we clicked musically.

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Simon Halsey on Tippett’s ‘A Child of Our Time’: ‘the biggest lesson was how to feel what he had written’

Simon Halsey

I was greatly privileged to know Sir Michael Tippett and to chorus-master his recording of A Child of Our Time. In my childhood, the two giants of English composition were “Tippett and Britten” - in that order. Since their deaths, Britten has flourished internationally and Tippett has slipped back a bit in the public consciousness. I hope the new Tippett biography by Oliver Soden will help rectify this.

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theartsdesk at the Southrepps Music Festival - world-class young musicians return to North Norfolk

David Nice

When you've found some of the best young musicians in the world, and they've found that they love working in the peaceful surroundings of a magical spot in North Norfolk, you don't let go.

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theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2019 - super-orchestra, top clarinettists, transcendent strings

David Nice

Little has changed about Pärnu, with its concentric rings of eight-mile sandy beach and dunes, wooded gardens and wooden old town, in the five years I've been going there.

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theartsdesk at Itinéraire Baroque 2019 - a musical journey through the Périgord

alexandra Coghlan

We’ve all had the experience of wandering into a church, only to discover it filled unexpectedly with music: the choir rehearsing for Evensong, a local orchestra practising, a soprano and organist getting ready for a weekend wedding.

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theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival 2019 - in heaven with Dante's Purgatorio and Estonian rites

David Nice

Two years ago Ermanna Montanari and Marco Martinelli, the visionary partners who have powered Ravenna's revolutionary Teatro delle Albe since 1986, led local people and international visitors down through the circles of Dante's Inferno. In 2021, the 700th anniversary of the greatest Italian poet's birth, they will take us into the presence of God.

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'A product not only of his era but also of his travels': Ian Page on Mozart's cosmopolitan education

Ian Page

When Mozart was an established composer living in Vienna during the final years of his short life, a young student seemingly came to him to seek his advice. The would-be young composer said that he was planning to write a symphony, and asked Mozart what advice he could give to him. Mozart replied that a symphony was a complex undertaking, and suggested that the youngster should first write a few keyboard sonatas and string quartets before undertaking an orchestral work.

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