sat 19/09/2020

Classical Interviews

10 Questions for Composer Ludovico Einaudi

Adam Sweeting

Last month, Ludovico Einaudi's album Elements debuted at No 12 on the UK album charts, which made it the highest-charting modern classical album since Henryk Górecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs reached No 6 in 1992. It was proof of the quietly burgeoning allure of Einaudi, which has been stealthily expanding around the world since his first solo release, 1988's Time Out.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Elizabeth Watts

David Nice

Not many people write conspicuously brilliant tweets, but Elizabeth Watts is someone who does. Working on the most demanding aria on her stunning new CD of operatic numbers and cantatas by the lesser-known of the two Scarlattis, father Alessandro rather than son Domenico, she tweeted: “Good news – I can sing 88 notes without a breath. Bad news – Scarlatti wrote 89.”

Read more...

10 Questions for Nicola Benedetti and Wynton Marsalis

Jasper Rees

He’s an American jazz giant; she’s a Scottish doyenne of the classical violin. Anyone familiar with one more than the other – and that’s more or less everyone – would do a double take to see their names on the same bill. But this week at Barbican Hall, a new concerto by Wynton Marsalis will be premiered by Nicola Benedetti and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Edward Gardner

Jasper Rees

It’s odd seeing the whole of Edward Gardner, as upright as a guardsman until a passionate passage unleashes a repertoire of fierce jabs, deft feints and rapid thrusts. For nine years Gardner's main post was on the podium in the pit of the London Coliseum where all you could see were his disembodied hands and, slowly silvering over the course of his tenure, his schoolboy haircut.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Stephen Kovacevich

David Nice

“Whatever happened to Stephen Bishop?” is not a question likely to be asked by followers of legendary pianism. Born in San Pedro, Los Angeles on 17 October 1940, the young talent took his stepfather’s name as his career was launched at the age of 11. Later he honoured his own father’s Croatian "Kovacevich", by appending it to the “Bishop”.

Read more...

10 Questions for Conductor Peter Phillips

Sebastian Scotney

Peter Phillips founded the Tallis Scholars, a vocal group specializing in the sacred music of the Renaissance, in 1973 while still a student. He has been directing the ensemble ever since: it is about to perform its 2,000th concert.

Read more...

Q&A Special: Pianist Lucas Debargue

ismene Brown

Last week the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow was rung down with a sigh of relief for the home team, with once again a Russian pianist in possession of the gold medal, Dmitry Masleev following 2011’s Daniil Trifonov. It was all very satisfactory for President Putin as he delivered his speech at the winners’ gala, being Tchaikovsky’s 175th anniversary year, but it was not a result that many disputed.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Yevgeny Sudbin

David Nice

Whatever the recording industry may try to tell you, there is rarely any such thing as a single “best” among today’s pianists. We’ve had Benjamin Grosvenor and Leif Ove Andsnes, excellent artists both, touted as a cut above the rest. But hearing pianists in all corners of the world, you realize how much phenomenal and ungradable talent there is out there.

Read more...

10 Questions for Composer Unsuk Chin

Gavin Dixon

There is no mistaking the music of Unsuk Chin. Born in Korea and based in Berlin, Chin brings a range of cultural perspectives to her work. She often describes her music in terms of light and colour, and evokes dreamscapes when recalling her inspirations. Yet her music also has a strong gestural quality, her musical ideas are clear and definite, often subtle but never ambiguous.

Read more...

10 Questions for Composer Dobrinka Tabakova

Sebastian Scotney

There is everything of the quiet achiever about Dobrinka Tabakova. The softly-spoken Bulgarian-British composer was born in 1980 into a music-loving family of doctors, scientists and academics in the town of Plovdiv in Bulgaria and moved to England in 1991. She has garnered composition prizes from Amsterdam, London, New York, Neuchâtel, Vienna and Warsaw.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Picnic at the Castle review - entertaining mixed bill

Of all the outdoor spaces being utilised to keep live performance going in this maddest of years, Warwick Castle is surely among the most striking...

Nocturnal review - an impossible love

The most painterly and ominous sequence in Nocturnal naturally occurs at night. Until recently strangers, 33-year-old Pete (Cosmo Jarvis...

Album: Alicia Keys - Alicia

Alicia Keys is a puzzling mixture. On the one hand she’s the hyper-achieving, multi-platinum, 752-Grammy-winning...

Rocks review - impressively well-crafted neo-realist drama

Rocks is a beautifully made slice of neo-realist filmmaking which deserves to get a wide audience but may well slip off the radar in the...

GogolFest:Dream review - the best music festival of the summ...

GogolFest:Dream in Kherson, somewhere near the Crimea in...

Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall/Hill Quartet, Bandstand Chamber Fes...

An early hero of lockdown, livestreaming from his Berlin home in terrible sound at first, Igor Levit is a supreme example of how adaptable...

The Devil All The Time review – a test of faith in a Souther...

Theres no denying the Faulknerian ambition to the construction of Anthony Camposlatest feature Devil All the Time...

Eavesdropping on Rattle, the LSO and Bartók’s Bluebeard

One source of advance information told us to expect a reduced version of...

Album: Fish - Weltschmerz

"This party's over" snarls Fish on Weltschmerz, and, this time, it seems the big man really means...

Alban Gerhardt, Markus Becker, Wigmore Hall review - long sh...

It wouldn’t be true to say I’d forgotten what a solo cello in a...