Exploring the original sound of Beethoven with Melvyn Tan

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments
Exploring the original sound of Beethoven with Melvyn Tan

Here’s a podcast I did recently with the pianist Melvyn Tan, who made his name in the 80s by performing on period instruments such as the fortepiano. For quite some time now he’s reverted to playing mainly on modern instruments – mainly because the early ones are some damn unreliable, apparently – but his specialist […]

The Cathy List. no 1

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Last week I got asked by Cathy, my lovely sister-in-law, whether I could do a regular playlist of pieces that would help her and her partner get into classical music. As I often get asked to do recommendations like this, I thought I’d post the lists here so others can enjoy them too. With each […]

Interviewing Sir Mark

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments

I have to admit I was bit apprehensive about interviewing Sir Mark Elder, a titan  amongst conductors.  Every time I’d seen him interviewed, I was struck by his authoritative glare and commanding delivery.  This was a Man Who Knows, a man who had the air of not suffering fools gladly. I soon found out that behind […]

Christmas selection

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Just finished the year of ‘Beyond the Barline’ talks at St George’s with a festive twist, looking at Christmas favourites with Dr David Bednall.  I started with Corelli’s Christmas Concerto because it was one of the first pieces I conducted and it still has a nostalgic pull for me.  The concert grosso mainly feels Christmassy […]

Avoiding ‘Blue-Peter’ syndrome in Podcasts

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments
Avoiding ‘Blue-Peter’ syndrome in Podcasts

It was great to work with Lyndon Jones recently on a podcast for the website, Sinfini.com.  He’s a really experienced producer, now freelancing having worked for BBC radio for many years.  Having his input on both the script and the delivery of the podcast was a real  treat, as it’s been quite a solitary affair […]

On shaking in the Rodrigo ‘Aranjuez’ concerto

Posted by on Aug 23, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments
On shaking in the Rodrigo ‘Aranjuez’ concerto

It was great to meet Milos recently, who at the moment is to the classical guitar what Alison Balsom is to the trumpet (an apt comparison as they are good friends, as it turns out). I caught up with him in his London flat, where he’d just returned from his morning jog and kindly offered to […]

Teeth and feet in Prokofiev’s violin concerto 1

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments
Teeth and feet in Prokofiev’s violin concerto 1

Some wonderful insights here into how soloist Natalia Lomeiko interprets the fairy-tale world of Prokofiev’s violin concerto no.1., from an excerpt of a conversation we had earlier this month.          

Chromaticism in Cadogan hall

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments
Chromaticism in Cadogan hall

My challenge was to try and slip in a bossa nova next to Wagner’s Tristan Prelude in my presentation on chromaticism and its effects.  It worked!

Zukerman and Arnie (no, not that Arnie)

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments
Zukerman and Arnie (no, not that Arnie)

 I was back at the Cadogan Hall last week, this time as a presenter.  The subject: ‘Transfigured Night’ by ‘Arnie’ Schoenberg, to be explained from the piano to 12-17 year olds after an interview with Pinchas Zukerman.  Before I got to my opening question though, Maestro Zukerman was already in full flow, berating the assembled […]

Figaro, Downton Abbey style

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments
Figaro, Downton Abbey style

Well, this is the 2nd outing for ‘Opera Presto’ and so far so great with the rehearsals.  It’s a training week for young opera singers in their twenties and we’ve ended up with a cracking cast.  I’ve written a narrator’s script this time that allows us to abridge the opera heavily and keep the pace […]

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