Listen to the International Piano Series podcast with Mitsuko Uchida

Mitsuko Uchida talks about the strangeness of Schumann, her piano collection and her interval snack of choice.

You can hear Mitsuko Uchida perform a recital of Schumann, Schoenberg and Bach on Tuesday 15 January 2013, 7.30pm at Royal Festival Hall.

Find out more / book tickets

 

Listen to the International Piano Series podcast with Alice Sara Ott

The young German pianist Alice Sara Ott talks from Japan (via Skype) about Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, her sense of home, and the Rubix cube.

You can hear Alice Sara Ott in her Royal Festival Hall debut performance on Tuesday 12 February 2013, as part of the International Piano Series.

Find out more/book tickets

Watch Alice Sara Ott perform Pictures at an Exhibition

You can see Alice Sara Ott perform Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ at Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday 12 February, 7.30pm.

Find out more/book tickets

Witness an historic musical collaboration between the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra

The London Philharmonic Orchestra and Russian National Orchestra join forces for three concerts at Royal Festival Hall with the theme of War & Peace.

LPO Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski introduces the concerts and talks about the reasons for this historic collaboration:

 

Find out more / book tickets

Tickets for Friday 5 October have almost sold out but you can still buy tickets to see Vladimir Jurowski conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Wednesday 3 October and the Russian National Orchestra on Thursday 4 October

Angela Hewitt talks to the Guardian about her battle with Bach

Pianist Angela Hewitt has played Bach everywhere from Beijing to Bogotá. But she always avoided his final work – thinking it was too tough.  On Tuesday 2 October she opens the International Piano Series 2012/13 with the first of two Royal Festival Hall recitals that focus on the composer’s final masterpiece, The Art of Fugue.

In an article in The Guardian on Wednesday 19 September, Angela relives how she overcame fear and major surgery to love The Art of Fugue:

“The first time I managed to play it through at home without stopping, I got goosebumps.  Its perfection is such that when I perform it, even the slightest cough feels like a stain on a beautiful canvas. The composer and critic Wilfrid Mellers put it perfectly when he said that, in The Art of Fugue, Bach “plays to God and himself in an empty church”. Few pieces have such simultaneous intimacy and grandeur. By performing and recording it over the next few years, I hope that music-lovers around the world will come to share my state of wonder.”

Read the full article

Listen to our International Piano Series podcast with Angela Hewitt

Angela Hewitt performs the Art of Fugue at the Royal Festival Hall on 2 October and 7 May as part of the International Piano Series 2012/13.

Vladimir Jurowski’s 2012/13 season highlights

The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Vladimir Jurowksi, introduces his concert highlights for September – December 2012.

Vladimir Jurowski conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 26 September, and 29 September at Royal Festival Hall.

Find out more/book tickets

Dig out your dancing shoes: one day to go!

It’s the big day tomorrow – Brynfest, our four-day festival, kicks off in style with The Golden Age of Broadway show. As we dig out our top hats and polish our dancing shoes, we asked Bryn why he chose to include a Broadway night as part of the festival.

‘It fits into the formula that I have used before at my Faenol Festival in North Wales. I’m always one that’s loved listening and performing Broadway tunes and since the advent of people like, for instance, Michael Ball, Michael Crawford and Elaine Paige, songs from musicals have really been brought into the public eye. I wouldn’t have a festival without an evening of musical theatre.’

Portrait of Bryn Terfel

Bryn Terfel © Briony Campbell

Are you a fan of musicals?

‘I adore them – they’re so entertaining.  I love My Fair Lady, and I saw Anything Goes in New York which was just tremendous – a real journey down memory lane. 

‘Oddly, last time I was in New York I saw the two theatrical productions that seem to have run away with the Tony Awards, which are Porgy and Bess with Audra McDonald (who, by the way, was one of the artists that came to my festival in North Wales) and I saw One Man, Two Guvnors twice with James Corden. ‘

You’re famous for your opera singing – what is your experience of Broadway tunes?

I grew up with them – they’re songs that I’ve sung and they have been sung to me by my grandparents and parents. They were always very popular in concerts when I was a youngster, even before I went to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, but I then still used them in miscellaneous concerts we had all over Wales with male voice choirs.  So ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ I would have sung most probably over 1,000 times but still never ever get tired of it.’

Will you be performing in the show tomorrow?

‘I’ll make a brief appearance maybe.  It’s not my bread and butter but I can certainly, hopefully, sing a tune. I’ve brought along some very special guests to make the night go with a swing. We have an icon from Wales, of course, tying everything together, which is Siân Phillips. Emma Williams sang with me when we did the Sweeny Todd in the Royal Festival Hall, and there are many others too. These people work so hard, so to even think that somebody can turn up on a Wednesday night, in the middle of a busy schedule and just give us a concert is really enchanting. I’m very excited to hear them sing!’

If you’re a fan of musicals, there’s still time to book your tickets for tomorrow’s show.