NEW! CHORUS MASTER STEPHEN DOUGHTY IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE

01/06/2019

Stephen Doughty Tells Robert Beattie About the Work of the Belfast Philharmonic Choir

Stephen Doughty conducts the Belfast Philharmonic Choir (c) Linda Salem

The Belfast Philharmonic Choir is Northern Ireland’s only symphonic choir.  I went to listen to them perform in St Anne’s Cathedral a few months ago and was impressed with the quality of the singing and the range of their repertoire. The repertoire of the choir is exceptionally varied and includes key works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner. The Phil also champion new works and in 2015 they performed the world premiere of James Whitbourn’s The Seven Heavens which was written especially to commemorate the choir’s 140th anniversary.

They will be performing Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Ulster Orchestra on 7 June.  I spoke to their Chorus Master Stephen Doughty about preparations for the performance and about the work of the choir more generally. Read more

NEW! MULTI-FACETED MUSICIAN JOY LISNEY IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE

30/05/2019

Joy Lisney talks to Robert Beattie

Joy Lisney (c) Krisztian Siphos

I first came across Joy Lisney at a concert in London’s Purcell Room where she performed all five Beethoven Cello Sonatas with her father, James (review click here).  I was struck by the extraordinarily high level of her technical accomplishment and musicianship, and her willingness to take on such demanding repertoire at a relatively young age. Read more

NEW! Karabits Shares with Ian Lace his Impressions of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius

28/05/2019

Kirill Karabits, Chief Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, delivered a profoundly moving performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius on May 15th 2019 to conclude the BSO’s 2018/19 season. Following this (click here), I asked Kirill Karabits about his impressions of Elgar’s masterpiece.

Kirill Karabits

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NEW! ‘MUSICAL MAGIC’: AN INTERVIEW WITH VIOLINIST HENNING KRAGGERUD

21/05/2019

Geoffrey Newman in Conversation with Henning Kraggerud

Henning Kraggerud © Robert Romic

There are few artists who convey a greater sense of communication and discovery in the concert hall than Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud. There is a life-enhancing glow in his appearances, and one surmises that his bountiful inspiration must come from somewhere – perhaps from a tradition that stresses experimentation and an almost Renaissance diversity in musical reach. Kraggerud is not only a beautifully fine-toned and sensitive violin soloist and chamber musician, but a devoted educator, a play/direct specialist, a (sometimes) violist and a composer. Read more

NEW! CONDUCTOR THOMAS SANDERLING IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE

04/05/2019

Thomas Sanderling talks to Gregor Tassie

Thomas Sanderling

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YOUNG RUSSIAN PIANIST ALEXANDRA DOVGAN TALKS TO GREGOR TASSIE

25/04/2019

Alexandra Dovgan in conversation with Gregor Tassie

Gregor Tassie with Alexandra Dovgan (c) Sergei Dovgan

The eleven-year-old Alexandra Dovgan was honoured by opening the Ninth Rakhlin International Music Festival in Kazan playing Mendelssohn’s First Piano Concerto together with Alexander Sladkovsky’s outstanding Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, an event (review click here) which I attended together with journalists from Israel, St Petersburg, and Moscow. Read more

CONDUCTOR PIETARI INKINEN IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE

13/04/2019

Pietari Inkinen talks to Gregor Tassie

Pietari Inkinen (c) Nguyen Phuong Thao

The Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen started playing the violin and piano at four years and entered the Sibelius Music Academy graduating in violin studies (2003) and in conducting (2005) after which he studied with Zakhar Bron in Germany. He formed his own Piano Trio – the Inkinen Trio, and also performed in a rock band in Helsinki. He decided to devote his career to conducting and his first position was as chief conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (2008-2015). Inkinen recorded all the Sibelius symphonies for Naxos with the NZSO. In April 2019 the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra under Pietari Inkinen are touring Europe in programmes reflecting both the central repertoire and music from the Far East and from Inkinen’s homeland. Read more

NEW! Adrian Partington Introduces the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Conversation with John Quinn

23/03/2019

2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester 

In remarks accompanying the pathfinder prospectus for the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester the Artistic Director, Adrian Partington, commented: ‘Themes and anniversaries aren’t necessarily the best influences on successful programmes.’ I wouldn’t disagree, but even so, it’s surely appropriate that the highly attractive 2019 Festival programme, which has now been launched in full, reflects one or two notable anniversaries. This year the Festival will run from 26 July to 3 August. Read more

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