The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates its 70th birthday in 2016 and for its commemorative anniversary booklet, I had the opportunity to interview Pinchas Zukerman, its Principal Guest Conductor. He was on fine and articulate form, and happy to talk beyond the RPO, about the current state of classical music and his optimism for the future. One of his key concepts was to create a global coalition for music education, crossing all geographic and institutional boundaries. T
Paul Silverthorne has led the viola section of the London Symphony Orchestra for 25 years, working with the finest conductors and musicians in the world. So what does he really think of them, and what has he learnt about the art of conducting? Viola player Paul Silverthorne retires from the London Symphony Orchestra this year, after nearly 25 years – he played his last concert with the group on Monday, 5 October, and returns for a performance at St Luke’s on 13 November. I in
The British composer John Woolrich discusses the challenges contemporary music faces and the vital role of amateur musicians My interview with John Woolrich for Cozio has just gone live here, and in it he says many interesting things about his conception of string sound and how he composes for different stringed instruments. I also asked him more general questions that led to a fascinating discussion about the language of contemporary music and the importance of amateur music
At first I thought this New Yorker article about the Carpenter family by Rebecca Mead was going to be a puff piece, but it turns out to be a pretty thorough exposition of the high-end stringed instrument market, quoting many of the big names in that world. The article alludes to some of the underlying issues in the business, without necessarily focusing on them. You get a sense of the fierce ambition and sales skills required to try to sell instruments at this level – usualll
I'm just back from Wigmore Hall, where I watched the Kopelman Quartet demonstrate chamber music playing at its best: exquisite refinement, complete togetherness, impeccable attention to detail. All with their lustrous sound and a whole lot of humour, although possibly a wee bit comfortable. And watching the Russian bow hold in action is a whole violin lesson in itself. It's interesting to me that Russian players rarely use the palette one associates with Russian music - the P
Here are some photos I took when I went to interview Arnold Steinhardt for Cozio.com. They're pretty terrible pictures taken with my phone, but you can see the viola scroll he describes swapping with Jacques Francais, and the 'rough-hewn beauty' of the back. Find out more in the interview here. #storioni #steinhardt #violin #viola #lutherie #blog #view
I discovered My Viola and I, the autobiography of Lionel Tertis, in the library at Magic Mountain. It's a charming read with great anecdotes of musical life in the last century and including sections on the design of his own model and his physical problems that led him to stop playing. And there's a whole section at the end with playing advice: 'Long hair and locks over the right or left eyebrow are nauseating to look at and utterly useless in furthering musical capability.'