Musica2

Interviews & Portraits

Alexander Raskarov - © Philippe Gontier

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 ...
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Gita Kadambi, General Manager of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

"We are not restricting our “search” for our future conductor to Finland only" ResMusica: You have just recently been appointed general manager of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Please tell us a little about your background and how you ended up in this position. Gita Kadambi: I’ve done my Masters in Music both in Helsinki and London (Music Education, Sibelius Academy, Music Performance, London College of Music). I started my career as a ...
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BIS records at 40 years: a brief conversation with Robert von Bahr

"The obvious ones: The Sibelius Edition. The Bach Cantatas. Schnittke, Aho, Christian Lindberg, Sharon Bezaly, Martin Fröst, Ronald Brautigam and Yevgeny Sudbin". ResMusica: Robert, congratulations! BIS has turned 40 years old. What were the major challenges that you faced when BIS was in its infancy? Robert von Bahr: Distribution, especially international distribution.  It was only with the recording of a Lieder record with the top soprano of the day, Birgit Nilsson, that ...
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Daniil Trifonov, pianist

"The sculptures of Rodin made one of the strongest impressions on me" ResMusica: At only 22, you are celebrated by musical critics and influent artists such as Martha Argerich, recorded with Gergiev and the Mariinsky orchestra, signed with Decca and now Deutsche Gramophon, did you think this possible when you were 15? Do you keep your focus despite this new celebrity? Daniil Trifonov: At 15, I was still in Moscow and ...
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Zhenyu Zeng, Director of the China Europe Youth Orchestra

"We need musicians for orchestras, we don’t need so many soloists." ResMusica: How have you been introduced to classical music? Zhenyu Zeng : When I was 16 I was a professional opera singer for a theatre company, but  the director of advised me that I should not waste my time. The reason was that Chinese opera did not have support from the government, there was only two productions performed per year but ...
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Tribute to Patrice Chéreau (1944-2013)

No one could have guessed, attending Elektra last summer at the Aix-en-Provence festival, that it would be Patrice Chéreau’s swan song. Lung cancer finally took him from us on Monday, October 7. Chéreau was a surprising person, surfing on the waves of May ’68 to reassert again and again his left-wing engagement, his homosexuality, and his fight against intolerance. A natural heir to Berthold Brecht, Antonin Artaud, Orson Welles, and Jean ...
Valentina Lisitsa - (c) Valentina Lisitsa

Valentina Lisitsa, the pianist 2.0

“I don’t count my time, I don’t have a private life” ResMusica: Universal France promotes you as “the pianist 2.0”, which means a pianist which interacts with her audience. Do you like it? Valentina Lisitsa: I saw that! In London for some reasons they promoted me as the “Justin Biber of classical music”. I was first amused, and then horrified. We may have the same career, but do they expect me ...
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Pierre Boulez, composer and conductor

« That is an exceptional moment in my musical life ; I’m happy this recording has been kept. » ResMusica : You have recorded the Rite of the Spring many times. Which version is your favourite one ? Pierre Boulez : The one we made with the Cleveland Orchestra, the first version with CBS. We had played the Rite upon a tour in some small cities in the USA. We had security ...
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Julia Fischer, violonist

“Making music together is about trust: you open yourself in a way you would not do in a normal relationship” ResMusica: You perform with David Zinman and Esa Pekka-Salonen, two  conductors who think hard about how to bring new generations to classical music. Do you share their interest? Julia Fischer : I love to teach. With two kids at home it’s a responsibility. Every year, the week of New Year, I ...
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Tribute to Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013)

“What is fashion? It is what is going out of fashion. Tout est là.” His body bore the marks of a long life, but his mind remained bright, and Henri Dutilleux was resilient, just like his work. Untouched by the fights between neoclassicists and structuralists, his work was unique, beyond all dogma, and came from a very French tradition of the art of orchestration. He was extremely demanding of himself, aroused ...
Carolin Widmann - Crédit photographique : (c) KassKara

Carolin Widmann, Artist of the year ICMA 2013

“This is torture. It looks glamorous from the outside, but why do you want to do this?” ICMA: A violinist is to find his own personal sound, on the violin this is for artistic identity. Could you describe your idea of sound? Carolin Widmann:  I think there is not one sound, there is a million sounds according to what you feel in the music. It depends on the repertoire, it depends even ...
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Tribute to János Starker

János Starker. The great Hungarian-born American cellist has died on 28th April 2013 at the age of 88. The musician, who made a landmark in the history of interpretation, was a model for many artists. János Starker was a child prodigy. He was born in Budapest of a Polish father and a Ukrainian mother. His family was very musical and his two older brothers played the violin. As a child, he ...
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Aldo Ciccolini, Lifetime Achievement ICMA Award 2013

ICMA : This evening you are playing Liszt’s transcription of Isolde’s Liebestod. When did you first come into contact with the music of Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde’? Aldo Ciccolini : In the opera house, at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, when I was about ten years old. And I was totally transfixed for the entire duration of the opera. I don’t remember the name of the conductor, but it was certainly an ...
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Juan Francisco Gatell, tenor

“Everybody sees opera singers like Pavarotti, dressed the same. We are normal people!” ResMusica: What events triggered you to become a tenor? Juan Francisco Gatell: There were no musicians in my family, but music was everywhere in our house, and also in our city of La Plata. With many students involved in music, we could hear choirs, opera, pop, tango… All my brothers went to the conservatoire, two sisters became classical dancers. ...
Marie-Claire Alain

Tribute to Marie-Claire Alain

Further to her early studies in Saint-Germain, she became a student of Marcel Dupré and Maurice Duruflé, from whom she obtained a first prize in five classes at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris: organ, improvisation, harmony, counterpoint, and fugue. Her lengthy career began as early as 1937, when she would play the organ of Saint-Germain-en-Laye with her father. She gave more than 2,500 concerts around the world. She ...
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Baiba Skride, violonist

“In a competition, most important is having a strong personality.” ResMusica :  You have been awarded the Grand Prize of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium in 2001. How have you been through this competition ? Baiba Skride : The Queen Elisabeth competition was a wonderful experience for me. It was so exciting to be a part of such a historic and meaningful competition. I met amazing musicians there, I learnt a lot about ...
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Audite, label of the year 2013

"Right now we are considering stopping streaming altogether" ResMusica :  You have won the "Label of the Year" of the International Classical Music Awards 2013, what does this award mean to you? Ludger Böckenhoff : We feel very honored! Particular since the ICMA jury is independent and consisting of journalists with great expertise for classical music. The award encourages us to continue our work, which has gone on for 40 years during ...
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Remy Franck, President of the Jury of ICMA 2013 thanks the Milan Symphony Orchestra

The Jury’s President of the International Classical Music Awards, Remy Franck, thanks the Milan Symphony Orchestra « Giuseppe Verdi » for the ospitality during the 2013 Edition of ICMA. Watch the video.
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John Axelrod speaks about the ICMA 2013 Awards ceremony

Maestro Axelrod speaks about the edition 2013 of the ICMA and of the prizes which will be awarded during a concert event at the Auditorium in Milan on 18th March 2013. Watch the video: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb8gy1t_8fI[/youtube]
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Riccardo Chailly: Happy Birthday, Maestro!

ResMusica: Maestro Chailly, you can choose not to answer this first question : Will you be a candidate to replace Sir Simon Rattle in Berlin in 2018? Riccardo Chailly: Obviously I cannot answer this. Only fate and the Berlin Philharmonic will tell. RM: You will be turning sixty this year. You have conducted all the repertoire, from Bach to contemporary music, with all the greatest orchestras. Are there works that you have ...
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Alisa Weilerstein in Paris

"The programming is conservative and stuck" ResMusica: Your debut album features the concerto by Elgar, whose discography has been dominated by Jacqueline Du Pré since she recorded it in 1965. Daniel Barenboim made an emblematic recording with her in the mid-70’s. How did this album happen? Alisa Weilerstein: Playing this concerto with Maestro Barenboim was not something I asked myself. When I met with Barenboim for the first time, it was ...
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Interview with Tasmin Little on Delius anniversary

ResMusica : You have been among the few musicians championing the music of Frederick Delius throughout their career. You play it on stage regularly and lastly at the Prom’s, you recorded with EMI and Chandos, or by discussing it on the BBC. Have you seen a change in how this music is perceived and received by the audience, in the UK and abroad ? Tasmin Little : I do think that ...