sat 18/05/2024

Classical Interviews

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Sakari Oramo

David Nice

Rattle and the Berliners went home at the beginning of the week with vine-leaves in their hair. There's now something else to celebrate. Exactly one week on from the second concert in their Sibelius cycle, the Barbican hosted even more of an all-out stunner, starting with Sibelius no less compellingly conducted than the best of last week’s symphonic cycle and ending with a performance of the "Inextinguishable" Fourth Symphony by this year’s other 150th birthday composer,...

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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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