sat 02/03/2024

Classical Interviews

Composer and conductor Carl Davis, 1936-2023

graham Rickson

May 2021 should have seen the appearance on Netflix of a new restoration of Abel Gance’s silent epic Napoleon, lasting nearly seven hours and timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death. The release was delayed, but, in anticipation, theartsdesk spoke to the composer and conductor Carl Davis, who has died aged 86.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Abel Selaocoe

Tim Cumming

South-African cellist Abel Selaocoe is about to begin his third major concert in London in under a year. As the support artist for kora player Ballake Sissoko and cellist Vincent Segal at the Roundhouse in January, he received a lengthy ovation for his 30 minute set, having demonstrated an uncanny ability to play the audience as dexterously as he plays his cello.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Horn player Sarah Willis on returning to Cuba

graham Rickson

Berlin Philharmonic Horn player Sarah Willis’s Mozart y Mambo caused a stir in 2020, its mixture of Mozart and traditional Cuban music making it a bestselling crossover disc.

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theartsdesk Q&A: conductor Klaus Mäkelä

David Nice

Let the facts – and the music-making you can see and hear online – speak for themselves first.

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theartsdesk Q&A: horn player Sarah Willis

graham Rickson

Horn player Sarah Willis joined the Berlin Philharmonic in 2001. She juggles her position with spells of teaching, interviewing soloists and conductors for the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall and hosting an online series of Horn Hangouts, interviews with musicians streamed live on her website and archived on YouTube.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Olari Elts in Tallinn

David Nice

Arriving in Tallinn hotfoot from Paavo Järvi's inaugural concert as chief conductor of Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra, and expecting the limelight to belong to composer Erkki-Sven Tüür on his 60th birthday, I found another Estonian bonus in store.

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'In every concert, I want to try to tell a story': Conductor Omer Meir Wellber at the BBC Philharmonic

Robert Beale

Omer Meir Wellber may be the first chief conductor of a major orchestra to have begun his tenure with a children's concert.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Gianandrea Noseda on conducting Mahler and the Pan-Caucasian Youth Orchestra

David Nice

There's something about the very opening of a Mahler symphony which gives you an idea of how the rest of the performance will go. In the case of the Second, the inescapable "Resurrection", it's the ferocity behind the upper string tremolo and the wildness of the uprush from cellos and basses.

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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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10 Questions for Cellist Raphael Wallfisch

Gavin Dixon

Cellist Raphael Wallfisch thinks outside of the box. His concert repertoire spans the popular concerto choices – the Elgar, the Dvořák – but he doesn’t stop there, and makes a point of seeking out the lesser-known and the little-heard.

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