‘MUSICAL MAGIC’: AN INTERVIEW WITH VIOLINIST HENNING KRAGGERUD

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.

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CONDUCTOR PIETARI INKINEN IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE

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.

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

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.

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CONDUCTOR MAXIM EMELYANYCHEV IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE

Maxim Emelyanychev interviewed by Gregor Tassie

Maxim Emelyanychev (c) SCO

When the 29-year-old Russian musician Maxim Emelyanychev was appointed Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Principal Conductor designate last spring, many were not so surprized for the young conductor had astounded many concertgoers when he stepped in at the last moment for a SCO concert of Schubert’s ‘Great’ C major symphony. It was his lively and entertaining conducting, in addition to his relationship with his musicians, that ensured his appointment.

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CHRISTOPHE ROUSSET IN CONVERSATION WITH COLIN CLARKE

Christophe Rousset (c) Eric Larrayadieu
Christophe Rousset (c) Eric Larrayadieu

I meet Christophe Rousset in a café that is part of the Strasbourg opera complex; pop music (rap? hip-hop?) issues forth from the speakers; a stark contrast to the subject of our interview, Legrenzi’s opera La Divisione del Mondo. The interview takes place just a couple of hours prior to the last performance at Strasbourg, after which the production moves on to fresh venues.

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VENEZUELAN MUSICIAN GABRIELA MONTERO IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE

Pianist and composer Gabriela Montero interviewed by Gregor Tassie

Gabriela Montero

Gabriela Montero’s brilliant music-making and her dazzling freeform arrangements of classical piano works have placed her among the most fascinating musicians in the world today. Her compositions reflect upon the stormy events of recent years in her homeland and her defence of human rights across the globe. Gabriela Montero is the first appointed Amnesty International Honorary Consul for Human Rights. Several of her compositions have won wide-spread praise together with her recordings including her Grammy award for her Ex Patria poem for piano and orchestra. In February 2019 she tours the United Kingdom for a series of concerts from Scotland through to London in which she will play the premiere of her new piece Babel with the award-winning Scottish Ensemble.

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PIANIST MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN

THE GREAT CANADIAN ARTISTS: AN INTERVIEW WITH MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN

Marc-André Hamelin © Sim Cannety-Clarke

Pianist Marc-André Hamelin has emerged as one of the marvels of the twenty-first century. Few living pianists can match his transparency of articulation, rhythmic and tonal control and cunning virtuoso strength, and these characteristics are resoundingly illustrated in his recordings and concert performances of a vast range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century repertoire. His early – and indeed enduring – contribution lay in bringing technically-challenging works of lesser known and often forgotten composers to public attention, placing them on the world stage in the best light for others to absorb and study. In recent years, he has applied his interpretative and technical acumen to more mainstream literature with great success.

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