Thursday, February 15, 2018 4:14pm
Can you tell us a little about the format of Classics Unwrapped #1: Young Talent Time…
The format of Classics Unwrapped in general is that we have a theme in the case of Classics Unwrapped No.1 for 2018 it's called Young Talent Time. We will be featuring composers such as Mozart, Mendelssohn, Bizet, Saint-Saëns, Bernstein and Grainger. It's very difficult to pick out specific composers for this Classics Unwrapped because basically all composers and performers showed talent from young age. But it's hard go past Mozart and Mendelssohn in particular, they were both famous child prodigies, both were composing and performing from very young age. Sadly neither of them lived beyond late 30s but they both produced many masterpieces which are well known to the general public and are instantly recognizable.
We normally chose either short complete pieces or a movement or a section from larger works to showcase and highlight the featured composers. Often we might play a complete work in a Masters concert later in the year so the idea is that we hope to entice the audience and whet their appetite to hopefully want to come and hear more works or the complete piece by featured composers. It's a great introduction for someone who's never experienced or been to a classical music concert as it's quite informal and only 75mins plus we have Guy Noble always giving interesting and fun insights into the composers and pieces.
What larger-than-life story can you tell us about one of these composers?
Well, Grainger was one of the first to design a sports bra! He's also buried here in Adelaide.
You will be performing the Finale from Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, why did you choose this piece and this particular movement? What do you love about performing it?
The Mendelssohn Violin Concerto is an absolute masterpiece! What he did with the form of this Concerto was also very innovative and revolutionary. Although it's in three movements, all movements are connected which was unheard of at the time. Also at the beginning, the soloist almost immediately enters after the orchestra starts whereas up until that point, there always was big orchestral introduction before a soloist entered. We take these things for granted now of course but at the time when it was first performed it would have been a huge shock to everyone who heard it. I'm playing the last movement which is the most exuberant, youthful and fantastic music you'll hear. It really shows the delicate, sparkling and light side of virtuosic violin playing. You'll be able to hear the complete work as part of our Grace and Grandeur concert in June - performed by the most exciting and talented Australian young violinist Grace Clifford, who is our Emerging Artist in Association.
How do you prepare for concert day? Do you have any concert day superstitions or routines that you adhere to?
I used to be much more 'self centered' on the day of the concert but nowadays I'm likely to be running after the kids for this or that...
Who has influenced you most as a musician?
Lots of people, not just musicians. I learn from people who have great discipline, focus and flow of energy. For example most recently watching Federer play at the Australian Open I found it fascinating and I tried to incorporate certain aspects of his attitude, his focus and discipline in my practice. Every time we have wonderful conductors and soloists, I learn so much from working with them- they always make me want to practice more, search more which is incredibly inspiring. One can never stop improving and learning.
Where was the last place you travelled to for work or pleasure?
The last overseas trip we did as a family was to Japan in the summer holidays. We went to see my family and it was lovely to see our children with their great grandmothers together, very special time!
What is your most memorable concert experience?
All concerts are memorable, sometimes not for the right reasons. I'm extremely critical particularly of myself so more often than not I come off the stage thinking "oh why did do that?" It's very difficult to feel satisfied or happy after a performance generally. However I feel extremely lucky to be able to share the stage with some of the most amazing soloists and conductors and for me one of the most memorable performance was given by Alexander Gavrylyuk last year, which for me was of the highest artistic standard, personal and moving playing.
What moment should the audience listen out for at Classics Unwrapped #1: Young Talent Time concert?
There's a great variety of pieces in Classics Unwrapped programs so there's something for everyone to enjoy! I hope that the experience of hearing the pieces which you might recognize played live by an orchestra will give you such a buzz that you'll be back for more!!
Classics Unwrapped #1: Young Talent Time
Wed 28 Mar, 6.30pm
Adelaide Town Hall