Broadcaster Humphrey Burton’s Memories of Bernstein

young_bernstein

“His father wanted him to go into the family hairdressing business and refused to pay for fancy piano lessons, so young Lenny raised the cash he needed by teaching piano to neighbourhood kids at $1 an hour.”

Humphrey Burton,  Radio 3 broadcaster and biographer of Leonard Bernstein, discusses his memories of Lenny in a great piece published in The Guardian last week:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/sep/17/leonard-bernstein-memories

Get to know… Paula Chateauneuf

The Bernstein Project Installation
Get to know… Paula Chateauneuf
Over one weekend in October lutenist Paula Chateauneuf curates Take The Risk, an innovative and exciting series of concerts and workshops at Southbank Centre that explore improvisation in early music. So where does Willy Wonka, ballet and a good coffee supply fit in with this much sought-after musician? Let’s find out shall we…
What – or where – is perfection?
Sitting in a formal herb garden on a sunny day in Italy with my partner and good friends, fine conversation and a glass of chilled white wine.
Who is your favourite hero from fiction?
Willy Wonka, because he is an irresistible eccentric who is very much his own man.
What’s your favourite ritual?
My morning cappuccino break (I’ve got a fantastic Classic Gaggia and coffee supplier).
Which living person do you most admire?
I have complete admiration for those who devote their lives to educating others. They do the most important job in the world and hold the future in their hands.
What do I fear the most?
Being fearful.
What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
To sing really well, a bit of jazz and a bit of opera.
Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?
Seeing a production of Swan Lake (by a Russian company, can’t remember which one). It was my first proper ballet experience (at the tender age of 43) and I was overwhelmed by the powerful emotion the art of dance can conjure.
If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which  artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
I would love to gather together the original cast of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (with the original sets and costumes) for a performance of the work directed by the composer, in a replica of the octagonal mirrored room where it was probably first presented.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
You must do whatever you’re doing from the heart. Even if you have to work hard for what you want, you must never lose sight of why you’re doing it.
Paula Chateauneuf

Paula Chateauneuf

Over one weekend in October lutenist Paula Chateauneuf curates Take The Risk, an innovative and exciting series of concerts and workshops at Southbank Centre that explore improvisation in early music.

So where does Willy Wonka, ballet and a good coffee supply fit in with this much sought-after musician? Let’s find out shall we…

What – or where – is perfection?

Sitting in a formal herb garden on a sunny day in Italy with my partner and good friends, fine conversation and a glass of chilled white wine.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction?

Willy Wonka, because he is an irresistible eccentric who is very much his own man.

What’s your favourite ritual?

My morning cappuccino break (I’ve got a fantastic Classic Gaggia and coffee supplier).

Which living person do you most admire?

I have complete admiration for those who devote their lives to educating others. They do the most important job in the world and hold the future in their hands.

What do I fear the most?

Being fearful.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?

To sing really well, a bit of jazz and a bit of opera.

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?

Seeing a production of Swan Lake (by a Russian company, can’t remember which one). It was my first proper ballet experience (at the tender age of 43) and I was overwhelmed by the powerful emotion the art of dance can conjure.

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which  artists (living or dead) would you bring together?

I would love to gather together the original cast of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (with the original sets and costumes) for a performance of the work directed by the composer, in a replica of the octagonal mirrored room where it was probably first presented.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

You must do whatever you’re doing from the heart. Even if you have to work hard for what you want, you must never lose sight of why you’re doing it.

Mass Installation – Photos

bernstein_project_listener

Running the length of Southbank Centre’s season long Bernstein Project is Mass Installation, an audiovisual installation featuring a behind the scenes peek into the performances and rehearsals at Southbank Centre, including our preparations (already well underway) for the huge performance of Mass, featuring the Mass Orchestra, a rock band, a marching band, several choirs – featuring both established artists and new talent drawn from the local community.

For The Bernstein Project’s opening weekend we sent photographer Rachel Cherry along to snap the first visitors to the installation. Check out the whole set on our Flickr account:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/southbankcentre/sets/72157622423480694/

Do come along and check out the installation next time you’re visiting Southbank Centre it’s in place by Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall.

Marin Alsop on Bernstein – Watch the BBC Interview

Leonard Bernstein with Marin Alsop - Photo: Walter Scott

Leonard Bernstein with Marin Alsop - Photo: Walter Scott

Marin Alsop The Bernstein Project’s Artistic Director was interviewed this week by Kirsty Lang for the BBC. In the conversation Alsop describes the moment she first saw Bernstein conduct and her time as young conductor when Bernstein acted as her mentor.

Watch the interview in full at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8267043.stm

Take The Risk Weekend – An Introduction

wishart

Stevie Wishart

Once upon a time, in the very distant past, music existed in neither written nor printed form; it was both learnt and performed through the simple combined devices of memory, variation and improvisation. Thousands of years later many musicians still work in exactly this manner; but in one genre – that of classical music – working without music has become something of an exception, particularly and increasingly during the last half millennium. Sometimes the text from which classical musicians play has been merely a set of ‘reminders’, a few dots and dashes to indicate approximate form, structure and expression. But often, and increasingly from the eighteenth century onwards, the text is not merely an aide-memoire, but a complex attempt by the composer to both articulate and prescribe actual expression for the performer.
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Conductor Marin Alsop to sign copies of her Bernstein’s Mass CD at Southbank Centre

Marin Alsop - credit Grant Leighton

Marin will be taking up residence at Southbank Centre from Sept 20 as Artistic Director of The Brenstein Project, a 10 month celebration of Leonard Bernstein – one of the most charismatic men of the 20th century.

She will be signing copies of her recently released and hugely successful CD recording of Bernstein’s Mass (Naxos).

Read the 4 star review in the Daily Telegraph
‘Alsop directs a performance that attests not only to her admiration for the piece, but also to the way she can tap the music’s colour and spirit.’

John Adams in Conversation

John Adams talks to the London Sinfonietta about the concert on 27 September 2009 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London, featuring the UK premiere of his new work Son of Chamber Symphony. He also discusses his history of working with the Sinfonietta, the other works by American composers John Cage, Paul Dresher and David Lang which feature in the concert, and how Son of Chamber Symphony compares with the original Chamber Symphony.

John Adams talks to the London Sinfonietta about the concert on 27 September 2009 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, featuring the UK premiere of his new work Son of Chamber Symphony. Adams also discusses his history of working with the Sinfonietta, the other works by American composers John Cage, Paul Dresher and David Lang which feature in the concert, and how Son of Chamber Symphony compares with the original Chamber Symphony.

For full details and to book tickets for the concert (from £9) visit:
http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/music/productions/london-sinfonietta-27-09-09-46752