I have great memories of playing/recording Mozart’s ‘Linz’ Symphony with Sir Charles Mackerras and the SCO, so it’s a real honour to perform this piece with the Orchestra again.
THE PLAYERS ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT YOU COMING BACK TO CONDUCT. IS IT HARDER TO CONDUCT AN ORCHESTRA OF MUSICIANS THAT YOU KNOW?
I’m really excited about coming back too! I don’t know if it’s harder to conduct musicians you already know but it’s certainly different.
TELL US ABOUT THE PROGRAMME – DO YOU EVER CONSIDER THE BASSOON PARTS WHEN CHOOSING REPERTOIRE?
The best composers always write fabulous bassoon parts, so it might not be the worst starting point to choose repertoire! I have great memories of playing/recording Mozart’s ‘Linz’ Symphony with Sir Charles Mackerras and the SCO, so it’s a real honour to perform this piece with the Orchestra again. I am fascinated by the music of Joseph Bologne, one of very few black composers from the 18th century. A contemporary of Mozart, he was renowned as both a virtuoso violinist and virtuoso swordsman. It’s also a great pleasure to introduce the young Mezzo-Soprano Katie Bray to the SCO.
YOU HAVE BEEN SO BUSY SINCE WE LAST SAW YOU. HAVE YOU PLAYED YOUR BASSOON AT ALL? YOU ONCE SAID THAT IT IS MUCH EASIER TO CONDUCT THAN PLAY THE BASSOON. DO YOU FIND YOU HAVE TO SPEND MUCH LONGER LEARNING SCORES THAN YOU DID LEARNING BASSOON PARTS?
I don’t play bassoon as much as I used to, but I still play a bit. It takes much longer to become technically proficient on an instrument than it does to learn the basics of conducting, but there is more to conducting than just waving your arms around and I do spend much longer looking at scores than I used to spend preparing bassoon parts.
YOU MUST SURELY MISS THE CAMARADERIE OF THE BACK ROW OF THE SCO AS MUCH AS WE MISS YOU. IS IT EVER LONELY OUT FRONT?
I absolutely miss the back-row antics with my wonderful ex-colleagues at SCO! It can be lonely out front, but it never feels quite as exposed as it does when playing concertos – at least you get to face your colleagues during concerts when you’re conducting.
HAVE YOU BEEN DOING MORE SINGING SINCE YOU LEFT SCO? DO YOU THINK YOU WILL EVER BOOK ALISON GREEN IN A MEZZO ROLE AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE?
Alison (Frederika Von) Green is not only a great bassoonist and educator, but she also has many other surprising talents up her sleeve, including qualifications as a conductor and singer. As soon as the perfect vocal rôle crops up she can expect a call.
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