NEW! INSIDE AND OUTSIDE CONDUCTING: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOPHER SEAMAN

12/07/2016

Inside and Outside Conducting: Geoffrey Newman Interviews Christopher Seaman

VCMSeamanPic3

Christopher Seaman (c) Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

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NEW! PIOTR BECZALA in conversation with Michael Cookson

05/07/2016

Piotr Beczała in conversation with Michael Cookson

Piotr Beczala © Jean-Baptiste Millot (1)

Piotr Beczala © Jean-Baptiste Millot

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to interview star international tenor Piotr Beczała whom I met in the lounge of his Dresden hotel. There was a great feeling of anticipation in the city for the revival of Christine Mielitz’s Lohengrin at the Semperoper as in few days time. Piotr was to sing the title role with Anna Netrebko as Elsa; their first Wagner roles. Read more

David McVicar’s Production of Aida Returns to Valencia

04/03/2016

Verdi, Aida: Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana, Ramón Tebar (conductor), Palau de Les Arts, Valencia, 2.3.2016 (JMI)

From Aida ©Tato Baeza

From Aida ©Tato Baeza

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NEW! The Pursuit of Discovery: An Interview with Conductor John Storgårds

26/02/2016

 The Pursuit of Discovery: An Interview with Conductor John Storgårds

John Storgårds © Heikki Tuuli

John Storgårds © Heikki Tuuli

Over the last five years or so, Finnish conductor John Storgårds has seemed to be everywhere: his compelling performances with the BBC Philharmonic, his Proms appearances, his recent recordings of the complete Sibelius and Nielsen symphonies for Chandos, and many other recordings on Ondine, including his new Zemlinsky. Yet Maestro Storgårds, now 52, really only picked up a baton some twenty years ago, having spent most of his early career as a violinist and concertmaster. Even his early focus as a conductor was hardly standard: he endlessly sought out the scores of hitherto-neglected Finnish and Nordic composers, often premiering their works and recording them for the first time. These projects are still ongoing, perhaps even accelerating, and have been sufficiently extensive that the conductor already has over fifty recordings to his name. Read more

NEW! The Pianist of Willesden Lane to Receive UK Première

21/12/2015

The UK première of The Pianist of Willesden Lane opens at the St. James’s Theatre London on 20 January 2016 and runs until 27 February.

Pianist of Willesden Lane

Mona Golabek as a Jewish teenager who escapes the Nazis in The Pianist of Willesden Lane at 59E59 Theaters
(c) Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

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NEW! ‘Between Two Worlds’: An Interview With Violinist Tianwa Yang

10/12/2015

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: AN INTERVIEW WITH VIOLINIST TIANWA YANG

TianaDecember

Tianwa Yang

The dramatic growth in the number of talented artists of Asian origin has been one of the outstanding features of classical music today, indeed sufficiently important to influence the focus of major recording companies and media. Traditionally, the road to exposure for young Asian artists, and violinists in particular, has been straightforward: move to America, gain entrance into Juilliard or Curtis from an early age, and let their budding musical and technical skills be honed by the great teachers. This was the route taken by Kyung Wha Chung originally, and later Cho Liang Lin and Sarah Chang, among many others.

If one looks at the career of 28-year-old Chinese violinist Tianwa Yang, one would think that she must be cut from standard cloth. After all, her virtuoso skills are pristine and her recordings for Naxos, the most enterprising being the complete violin compositions of Pablo Sarasate, have received the highest praise. They have often been cited as a model of ‘the art of the violin’ for their technical accuracy, perception and emotional commitment. Of her more than 20 recordings, she has also received the ECHO Klassic 2015 award as Violin Instrumentalist of the Year for Ysaÿe’s Sonatas for Solo Violin. Yet Ms Yang did all her early studies in China, and in fact did not want to study in America. She recoils at the term ‘virtuoso’ being used to describe her talents, showing almost no interest in the ‘International Violin Olympiad’, as she aptly calls it.  Rather, her dream from her teens was to study German chamber music in Germany, and that is eventually what she did. It is a long jump from Schubert to Sarasate or Paganini, so when she visited Vancouver to play Paganini’s 2nd Concerto, I was more than a little intrigued, especially since she apparently had not touched the work for over a decade. Read more

NEW! Interview with Bertrand Chamayou

04/11/2015

INTERVIEW WITH BERTRAND CHAMAYOU

Bertrand Chamayou (c) Marco Borggreve

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Bruce Dickey on the Cornetto and the Vespers

18/10/2015

Bruce Dickey on the Cornetto and the Vespers

Dickey

Bruce Dickey

For four decades, Bruce Dickey has almost single-handedly pioneered the resurgence of the cornetto, an instrument forgotten for centuries but absolutely essential to faithful historical performance. He has been a fixture at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, leading new students of the instrument forward. In 2000, the Historic Brass Society awarded him the prestigious Christopher Monk Award for ‘his monumental work in cornetto performance, historical performance practice and musicological scholarship’. Read more

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