tue 26/05/2020

Classical Interviews

10 Questions for Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor

Jessica Duchen

At all of 22, the British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor has already become one of the best-loved solo pianists in the UK, with an international career that spans the globe. A remarkable child prodigy from Southend-on-Sea, he first shot to prominence when he won the piano section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 2004, aged only 11, amazing audiences with the maturity and sensitivity of his musicianship.

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Miloš Karadaglić, 'the guitar player of the people'

Adam Sweeting

Compared to grand divas, virtuoso pianists or stupendous fiddlers, legends of the classical guitar have been few in number. Once you've ticked off Segovia, Julian Bream and John Williams you're pretty much done with the household names. This isn't to impugn the musical powers of players such as Craig Ogden, Pepe Romero, Sharon Isbin or David Russell, it's more a reflection of the niche nature of the instrument.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Jonathan Nott

David Nice

When I entered the light and spacious chief conductor’s room in Bamberg’s Konzerthalle, Jonathan Nott was poised with a coloured pencil over one of the toughest of 20th century scores, Varèse’s Arcana.

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10 Questions for Conductor Alan Gilbert

Kimon Daltas

When Alan Gilbert’s Nielsen Project with the New York Phil and Danish label Dacapo is completed next year, it will total four CDs including the six symphonies, three concertos (flute, violin, clarinet) and two bonus overtures. The latest instalment (Symphonies 1 and 4) has just been released, while earlier this month the orchestra performed the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and Maskarade Overture in three concerts which were recorded for release in January 2015.

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'For classical musicians, Radiohead are the band'

alexandra Coghlan

The first time I interviewed Richard Tognetti he told me a story. Prior to touring the Australian Chamber Orchestra to Japan, the group’s leader and artistic director was discussing publicity with a local PR. Faced with disappointing ticket sales he asked for advice. The response? Remove two letters from the orchestra’s name and transform it into the Austrian Chamber Orchestra – problem solved.

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10 Questions for Soprano Sandrine Piau

Sebastian Scotney

French soprano Sandrine Piau, born in 1965 in a south-western suburb of Paris, has an agile, supple voice. It soars, so critics reach readily for all those bird metaphors: nightingale, sparrow, "she leaves the earth on wings of song" and so on.

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10 Questions for Conductor Vladimir Jurowski

Jessica Duchen

The Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski, chief conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, heads its major new series devoted to the music of Sergei Rachmaninov, in context with his forerunners and successors.

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10 Questions for Horn Player Sarah Willis

Jasper Rees

Sarah Willis's day job is as a member of the horn section of the Berlin Philharmonic. In recent years she has also become a roving ambassador for the instrument and a familiar face presenting and interviewing on the Berlin Phil's Digital Concert Hall. In 2010 she released her first solo recording, of the Brahms trio for horn, violin and piano. That combination of instruments is once more the foundation for her second solo CD. But there all similarities end.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Anne Schwanewilms

David Nice

She is now the world’s leading interpreter of Richard Strauss’s Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, the aristocratic thirtysomething once forced into marriage with a far from ideal husband and determined not to let it happen to the sweet girl who falls for her own much younger lover on first sight. As a happily married woman, Anne Schwanewilms has no need of 17-year-old boys, and in her vocal prime she can have no regrets about ageing beautifully, but she shares both the Marschallin’s...

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theartsdesk Q&A: The Hilliard Ensemble

Matthew Wright

The sophisticated and exquisitely crafted sound of The Hilliard Ensemble has, over the past four decades, become one of the most distinctive pleasures on the choral scene. One of the several pioneers of the medieval and Renaissance repertoire to emerge in the Seventies, The Hilliards have, nonetheless, made this music their own, their glistening sound offering a more contemporary aesthetic than that of historically-specialist period performances.

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