fri 18/10/2019

First Person

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

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,...

Read more...

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

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...

Read more...

Foragers of the Foreshore - London's mudlarks on show

Over the weekend, exhibitions and installations have started to bubble-up on the riverside walkway in London. Still-life photography of mudlark finds and a "scented history" of Barking Creek outside the National Theatre. Artwork from a dozen...

Read more...

Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek: 'Is our film porny?'

Spoiler alert: About sixty-four minutes into our debut feature film, one of the main female characters undresses for the camera. Alicja is being filmed by the other protagonist, a young American documentarian named Katie. As the sexually charged...

Read more...

On making The Left Behind: 'We've plugged into the mains'

The Left Behind is a television drama marinated in real-world research. It tells the story of a young man unable to break free from his bullshit job, zero-hour existence, thrown out of his family home when the council decide that as a...

Read more...

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

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...

Read more...

Roger Wright on Oliver Knussen: ‘his challenge to us all to remain curious lives on’

The composition course founded more than 25 years ago at Snape by composers Oliver Knussen and Colin Matthews is in full swing. The scene is the Britten Studio at Snape Maltings on the Suffolk coast. Like Colin, Olly's connections to Aldeburgh and...

Read more...

First Person: Matt Henry on fulfilling 'a dream come true' to play the legendary singer Sam Cooke

When I first read One Night in Miami, I instantly felt a strong connection to the piece and its story. The fact that Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, Cassius Clay and Jim Brown, four iconic black men at the top of their game in 1964, actually...

Read more...

First Person: Conductor Maxime Pascal on Stockhausen at the Southbank Centre

Stockhausen stands alongside Monteverdi and Beethoven as a composer who exploded the understanding of his art. Stockhausen deeply changed the relationship between space, time and music; there’s a human, intimate dimension to his composition, and he...

Read more...

First Person: Ellen McDougall on finding the commonality in the American classic 'Our Town'

I’ve wanted to direct Thornton Wilder’s Our Town for a long time.The play is beautifully written and its form feels not only ahead of its time (it was written in 1938), but also extremely powerful for a contemporary audience in an open air...

Read more...

First Person: Liam Byrne on bringing Versailles to the City's 'Culture Mile'

When you dedicate your life to studying and performing on a musical instrument that essentially went extinct at the end of the 18th century, nostalgia plays a certain unavoidable role in your daily routine. I don't mean fetishistic historicism - I'm...

Read more...

First Person: Sam Lee on singing with endangered nightingales

Every spring for the last five years, we have gathered around a camp fire in hidden locations in a wood in Sussex, to join the nightingales and to “re-wild” ancient folk ballads. We walk in silence through the forest at night, with no torches,...

Read more...
Subscribe to First Person