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Monday, August 15, 2016 3:30pm

Q&A with Guy Noble

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ASO favourite Guy Noble returns this week for Classics Unwrapped #2 and chats with us about why he’s looking forward to Big Egos, Big Music…

 

Photo credit: Guy Noble by Shane Reid

 

What can we expect from our 2nd Classics Unwrapped concert?
Classical music is full of big egos - composers who had very strong ideas about what they wanted and this concert is a selection of some of the best and most self-indulgent pieces ever written. This is music that grabs your attention – there will be stories of ego to go along with the great music.

What larger-than-life story can you tell us about one of these composers?
Wagner has to be the biggest ego of all in music – anyone who can write an opera lasting 16 hours (the Ring cycle) has to have a strong sense of self. All the people around Wagner were only there to service his needs. Wagner had a sponsor – Otto Wesendonck – a wealthy merchant, and he poured money into Wagner, and Wagner repaid the debt by sleeping with Otto’s wife Mathilde. Wagner writes amazing music (like the Prelude to Act 3 of Lohengrin) but he might have been the sort of person everyone would have been complaining about in the office.

Photo credit: Guy Noble by Shane Reid

 

Do you think the composers’ personalities come through in the music?
Yes, you can see it in their manuscripts. Mozart was all precision and elegance. Beethoven on the other hand, his manuscripts look like a chicken jumped into an ink pot and then ran over the paper.

If you could compare each of these composers to a famous personality/celebrity, who would they be?
Wagner = Donald Trump
Mahler = Woody Allen
Liszt = Andre Rieu

What’s your own larger-than-life character trait?
I think conducting an orchestra takes a pretty sturdy ego – you couldn’t stand in front of all those musicians without having a strong sense of self. In the early days as a young conductor there were times when I wanted to run away and hide in a cupboard, but that hasn’t happened for a while I’m glad to say!

 

Photo credit: Guy Noble & the ASO by JumpGate Virtual Reality


Guy Noble is a conductor, broadcaster, pianist, writer and producer who loves most genres of music and has played, conducted or talked about most of them. He regularly conducts the ASO, SSO, MSO, WASO, TSO and QSO and has worked with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Hong Kong and Malaysian Philharmonic orchestras. He has been Musical Director and Musical Supervisor of many major musicals including Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, South Pacific, Man of La Mancha, Gypsy, and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

He was the host of the Breakfast show on ABC Classic FM from 1999-2001 and is still a regular guest presenter on the network. He writes a regular column for Limelight Magazine and has worked with a wide variety of international and local artists including Harry Connick Jnr, Ben Folds, The Beach Boys, The Whitlams, The Pointer Sisters, Human Nature, Dianne Reeves, Glenn Frey, Randy Newman, Michael Bolton, Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant, and Clive James. Recent performances include Great Opera Hits for Opera Australia (Sydney Opera House), From Vienna With Love with Conchita Wurst (Sydney Symphony)  and The Last Night of the Proms (Sydney Symphony).

He has recorded 12 CDs for ABC Classics and also presents the classical audio programs on Qantas, Air China and China Airlines.


This article was written by ASO Publicist Kate Lees and posted by Michelle Robins, Publications & Communications Coordinator, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.


Classics Unwrapped #2:
Big Egos, Big Music
Wed 17 Aug 6.30pm
Adelaide Town Hall
 
INFO & TICKETS

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