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Interviews & Portraits

Chouchane Siranossian, double violoniste

Chouchane Siranossian, double violonist

In 2017, French violinist Chouchane Siranossian is a double Award winner of ICMA (International Classical Music Awards), for her CD L’ange et le diable with Jos van Immerseel and as Concertmaster of Ensemble Esperanza. Remy Franck made the following interview with her. "My roots have an influence on my playing ." ICMA : Chouchane, your family roots go back to Armenia. What does this mean for your music-making ? Chouchane Siranossian : For ...
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Tamsin Waley-Cohen, an adventurous violinist

Tamsin Waley-Cohen was the only British nominee for 2016's European Concert Hall Organisation's (ECHO) Rising Stars recital tour, which coincide with her latest disc : a CD of violin concertos by John Adams and Roy Harris with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Andrew Litton. This is the first time the Harris piece has ever been recorded. "In all the great venues that are part of ECHO, I will begin to build ...
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Robert von Bahr : The Man With The Pram … And 2.300 Recordings

The Swedish label BIS is Label of the Year of the International Classical Music Awards. Known for the quality of sound and music, for a substantial catalogue of more than 2.300 titles and some exciting projects, the label is a strong player on the international market. Remy Franck made the following interview with the label’s CEO Robert von Bahr. Remy Franck : Robert, what was the starting point for your business? Robert ...
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Polish flutist Łukasz Długosz, ICMA winner 2016

Polish flutist Łukasz Długosz was among the musicians having recorded a Concerto disc with compositions by Krzysztof Penderecki for Dux. This disc won in the category Contemporary music of the ICMA Awards 2016. Łukasz Długosz was also one of the winners to perform at the ICMA Gala Concert in San Sebastian. Jury member Maciej Chiżyński (ResMusica) has made the following interview. ResMusica : With whom did you study and how did ...
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Benjamin Appl, baritone

German baritone and "BBC  New  Generation  Artist",  Benjamin  Appl  begins  his "Rising  Stars" tour   through  the  European  concert in October . In January he was in Paris for a concert bringing a new song cycle written by Nico Muhly inspired out of the correspondence of soldiers in World War I. He’ll release an album in February with Champs Hill Records (Heinrich Heine-Lieder). ResMusica : You’ve been chosen as a BBC New ...
James Feddeck

James Feddeck, conductor

"There is no replacement for reaching out and taking time to create lifelong connections to the arts." Winner of the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2013, James Feddeck has held the posts of Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. In this interview, Feddeck discusses his broad musical background, guest conducting on short notice, and this thoughts for reinvigorating classical music audiences. ...
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Anna Vinnitskaya, pianist

“With Koroliov, it was not just how to become a pianist, it was just about music” In 2007, Anna Vinnitskaya won first prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition at the age of 24 following, in particular, a masterful performance in the finals. Since then, she has been having a brilliant career and now is counted among the greatest living concert pianists showing a serene power in anything she does. With her ...
Piotr Beczala

Piotr Beczala, the Polish tenor with a French connection

Piotr Beczala is Werther this month on the Bastille stage, one of his signature role. Interview with a true promoter of the French romantic opera, who is not in need of projects, such as put on stage The Haunted Manor, the most important Polish opera of the 19th century, or opening a school for singers which would not overlook the psychological dimension that is so important to their art. "Bring French romantic opera that I ...
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Homecoming: Susanna Mälkki, Chief Conductor Designate of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

"The most essential thing is to keep the musical standards very high" ResMusica: You began your professional career as one of the principal cellists of the Gothenburg Symphony--one of the top orchestral cello positions in Scandinavia if not Europe. However, after only three years you decided to pursue conducting full-time. Did you always aspire to be a conductor, or did other events inspire you to take your current path? Susanna Mälkki: Actually, the ...
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Tribute to Henri Dutilleux by the French conductor Pascal Rophé and the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire (ONPL)

In  2016, music lovers and all music business are going to celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest French composers : Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013). The Orchestre national des Pays de La Loire and Pascal Rophé (new Music Director since 2014) are already working on this event. Dutilleux shared his life between Paris and La Loire's river banks near Angers. They just recorded a set of rare and unknow pieces by Dutilleux for ...
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Leonard Slatkin, from Detroit to Lyon

"I'm not into maintenance. I'm into forward thinking." Leonard Slatkin is currently Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre National de Lyon, having previously held positions with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In this interview, Slatkin reflects on his beginnings in music, his accomplishments, recovering from a protracted musician's strike in Detroit, and making music in Detroit and Lyon.  ResMusica: ...
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New Festival In Katowice: Kultura Natura

ICMA’s partner for the 2018 Award Ceremony, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra presents a new festival, Katowice Kultura Natura which will run from the 15th until the 24th of May 2015. Under the artistic direction of the NOSPR’s Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Alexander Liebreich, this music festival will showcase renowned soloists, ensembles and orchestras from Poland and abroad, in varied and ambitious programmes. The Festival was established by the ...
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Alan Gilbert, maestro for the 21st century

Alan Gilbert, music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, will be on tour in Europe in late April. As usual, he will conduct unconventional programs, from Ravel to a world premiere of Peter Eötvös. ResMusica meets one of the most versatile conductors of our time.  "Today musicians and musical organizations as a whole need a paradigm of the orchestra-conductor relationship that is different from what was the norm even twenty ...
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Liechtenstein Music Academy is ICMA’s partner for the new Discovery Award

The International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) create their Discovery Award, aimed at distinguishing young musicians from 12 to 18 years. This new award category is created in close collaboration with the Foundation International Music Academy in the Principality of Liechtenstein. "Today, the competition between young talented musicians is particularly strong, and we believe that the best ones should benefit from the best possible support," said ICMA President Remy Franck. "We therefore ...
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Osmo Vänskä on Sibelius

"The most important guy on stage is the composer, never the conductor." ResMusica: Let’s start with a general question: Why Jean Sibelius? Why does he speak to you? Why do you think he continues to speak to audiences today? Osmo Vänskä: For me, personally, I think it was just because I was born in Finland. My parents took my two older brothers and I to concerts. My dad was a fiddler, and ...
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Dmitrij Kitajenko, Lifetime achievement award ICMA 2015

"It is my very personal opinion that today, an orchestra does not need to have a Music director, unless it expects him to deal with sponsors or politicians." Remy Franck : Maestro, have you been born into a musical family? Dmitrij Kitajenko : Not at all! My mother was a teacher and my father an engineer. However our house was next to the choir school of the Moscow Boys Choir. Since my mother ...

Radio Orpheus Named Media Partner Of The Tchaikovsky Competition

Russian Radio Orpheus – a member of the ICMA Jury –  has been chosen as official media partner for the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition which will be held in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, Russia, from June 15 to July 3, 2015. This year the competition is dedicated to the 175th anniversary of Piotr I. Tchaikovsky. Radio Orpheus is realizing its own media project, including a cycle of special programs about the competition’s ...
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Yury Revich: It’s all about sharing music and arts

Remy Franck : Yury, what does being ICMA’s ‘Young Artist of the Year’ mean to you? Yury Revich : It’s a great honor of course, I’m very happy that my dedication to music and arts is recognized with this fantastic award, and I’m sure it will bring me many new and wonderful opportunities! RF : You began very early to play the violin. Do you come from a musical family? YR : ...
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Preparing for takeoff: The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra

"Let’s not do a celebration, but let’s do the celebration of Sibelius and Nielsen - the largest in the world" ResMusica: How did your relationship with the RSPO begin, and how did it evolve to you becoming the music director of this ensemble? Sakari Oramo: It’s been around twenty years since I conducted the orchestra for the first time, so we have quite a long history together. For about three seasons during the mid-1990s I conducted the ...
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Anssi Karttunen, artistic director of the Helsinki Musica Nova Festival

ResMusica: Tell us a little bit about the history of the Musica nova festival in Helsinki (runs 6-14 February 2015). Anssi Karttunen: Musica nova Helsinki became the new name of the Helsinki Biennale in 1997. The Helsinki Biennale was created in 1981 at a moment when many things were opening up in Finnish music life. The music life became much more international than before, and both musicians and audiences became interested ...
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The ARC Ensemble committed to Remembering the Forgotten

"I don't think classical musicians really have duties beyond the normal responsibilities of non-musicians or non-artists. I think we enter very dangerous territory when we give artists special responsibility or expect them to behave in an exceptional manner" ResMusica : Why did you decide to create the ARC Ensemble? Simon Wynberg : The ARC Ensemble is actually a project of Canada's Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM), which is one of the largest ...
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Joseph Silverstein, the old master who prefers our time

"Hilary Hahn or Frank Peter Zimmermann reached a level of virtuosity which is well beyond what preceded them" ResMusica: You have been the concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1962 for 22 years, playing with conductors such as Charles Munch, Pierre Monteux, Erich Leinsdorf, Seiji Ozawa... For many music lover, this was a legendary time for the orchestra. Joseph Silverstein: The Boston Symphony Orchestra is phenomenal since I left! Musicians retired ...
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Schloss Elmau, Alpine music

ResMusica: Schloss Elmau is a beautiful place.  Can you tell us a bit about its history? What are the links between Elmau and music? Silke Zimmerman:  Schloss Elmau was built in 1916, to offer a retreat into nature, away from the maddening crowd. It’s interesting to see that even in its first year, there were 100 concerts played in the wonderful hall of the Schloss, with its fabulous acoustics. So it ...
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Martin T:son Engström, the Verbier Festival director in high spirits

"If you want to make a career, you have to find a family who will adopt you." ResMusica: Last year, the Verbier Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary. What does the Festival  mean to you? Martin T:son Engström: After working as an agent in Paris for 12 years, I wanted to create something by myself. In that role, you're in the middle of the game. To earn your 10% commission, you must  keep ...
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Hannu Lintu, chief conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

"The audience understood that contemporary music is a natural thing, not something that you should escape from" ResMusica: You are about to finish your first full season as Chief Conductor of the Finnish RSO. Please give us some impressions of your first season. Hannu Lintu: We have had an interesting season and some very good concerts. We have been talking a lot about sound; we are in middle of working with ...
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John Storgårds talks about his new Sibelius symphony cycle with the BBC Philharmonic

ResMusica: Although this is not a new symphony cycle of Brahms, Beethoven, or even Mahler, now we have new symphony cycle of Sibelius. Many of your Finnish colleagues have already recorded these works, sometimes more than once. What is it about these works which explains their timeless appeal? Why do people keep coming back to them? John Storgårds: I think that there is still so much to be found in his ...

Sakari Oramo, conductor

ResMusica: You began your career as a violinist, as concertmaster of the Finnish RSO, and now you are conducting the top orchestras of the world. Did you always envision conducting to be part of your artistic journey? How did you make this transition from the first chair to the podium? Sakari Oramo: I made my public conducting debut at the age of 11 on Finnish TV, conducting a folk song arrangement ...

Interview with Philip Glass

ResMusica : In 1976, Einstein on the Beach, and in 2013, The Lost. Mr. Glass, when composing your first opera, did you know that twenty-four others would follow? Philip Glass: (Laughs.) No. No, no . . . And there soon will be another one! In 2013, The Lost (Spur der Verrirten) was premiered, but so was The Perfect American. I composed those two operas at the same time. (Laughs.) One was ...
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Sebastian Fagerlund, composer

ResMusica: What was your first encounter with classical music? Sebastian Fagerlund: I was born in a small archipelago town in the southwest of Finland called Pargas. There was not much classical music or high culture present in the city, but in my family classical music was often listened to and discussed. My parents took me from a very early age to symphony concerts, for example in the nearest larger town called Turku. ...
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Alexander Raskatov about his opera A Dog’s Heart

“The world is so pitiless, we became all tough to each other” ResMusica: Your opera A Dog’s Heart and The Nose by Dimitri Shostakovich are both satirical works which met a great success at the same time. Do you think that you benefited from the recent appreciation of The Nose? Alexander Raskatov : This is an interesting question, I never thought about it. I like The Nose very much, but still ...