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LIVING THE CLASSICAL LIFE  is an award-winning series of one-of-a-kind conversations with musicians from around the world, hosted by pianist Zsolt Bognár. 


Andrea Cicalese

August 2023

Living the Classical Life welcomes back its youngest guest, violinist Andrea Cicalese, to follow the development and mindset of aspiring performers, to discuss stage fright, pressure and expectations, growth, and authenticity. Filmed in beautiful Porto, Portugal, this episode highlights a range of subjects from music to life path.

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Lucy Dhegrae

February 2023

"I wanted to reconnect with meaningful singing."

"Struggle is real. Healing is real."

Vocalist Lucy Dhegrae discusses mind and body and how they are connected to the voice, discussing how she overcame trauma that nearly ruined her ability to sing. Ultimately, it is a story of hope, finding meaning, and joy. The conversation may not be suitable for all viewers.

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Kent Nagano

July 2023

"For a moment, we are allowed to see what is beyond the stars."


One of the pre-eminent musical voices of his generation, conductor Kent Nagano draws into the essence of an artist's mission. In his prolific career, he was music director of the Opéra National de Lyon, principal conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, principal conductor and artistic director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, principal conductor and first music director of the Los Angeles Opera, music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and GMD of the Bavarian State Opera, and at the Hamburg State Opera. His reflections on his life, existential goals, and his mentors are sure to resonate long after viewing.

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Alexandre Kantorow

May 2021

“There's no such thing as an unimportant concert."


Living the Classical Life makes a special visit to the western suburbs of Paris, France, to catch up with Alexandre Kantorow, who recently won the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, a unique global competition for pianists decided by a secret traveling jury, and whose participants never know they even entered. Alexandre shares his thoughts and experiences on competitions, his creative process, being yourself, as well as preparation for a life of artistic growth.

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Ross Karre

August 2022

Filmed at the Oberlin Conservatory in 2022; "Classical percussionist" Ross Karre--he explains what this means today--explains the creative world and craft of his many instruments. Sound associations, playing unlikely objects, programming for unusual repertoire.

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Mari Kodama

February 2023

A zone of ease by being yourself: pianist Mari Kodama describes her life on stage and her studies with her legendary mentors Alfred Brendel and Tatyana Nikolayeva, as well as finding balance in life and on stage.


Eckart Runge

July 2023

"If I get goosebumps, it's not important. It's important in an audience."


In this wide-ranging conversation about an active concertizing life, cellist Eckart Runge returns to Living the Classical Life--this time as soloist and recitalist--having completed three decades of work with the distinguished Artemis Quartet, where he was a founding member. He discusses his passion for specific and diverse repertoire that activates the emotions as well as the imagination, and sourcing energy for a sustainable life.

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Victoria Randem

July 2023

“Comparison is the thief of joy! I find the zone through gratitude."


Equally adept as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Musetta in La Boheme, Alida in Sleepless, and Rachel in La piccola Cubana, Norwegian-Nicaraguan singer Victoria Randem is a fast-rising presence in the musical world, based in Berlin . She gives a lively account of her start as musician, discusses preparing a role and finding confidence and growth.

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Jukka-Pekka Saraste

May 2021

“The art of being on stage is that you’re taking the audience to you."


Helsinki’s next chief conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste reveals with subtle humor that his conducting career started at 8. He discusses the role of objectivity in Romantic repertoire, the dynamics of working with guest orchestras, and his philosophy of drawing his listeners into the performance. The sincerity and thoughtfulness of his advice to aspiring conductors is a gift to all music lovers. 

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Bejun Mehta 

May 2021

"If you can be that vulnerable to a scary moment, then you are exactly where you're supposed to be."


Filmed in Berlin at the height of the pandemic and shortly after Christa Ludwig's passing, decorated countertenor Bejun Mehta shares his life story, influences, and anecdotes about his musical collaborations. We examine what it means to discover who we truly are and how to be ourselves on stage.


Become a Patreon of


This tier gives you access to bonus content, outtakes, behind-the-scenes anecdotes from our host about filming days, photos, guest greetings, and more. You are now part of our mission and adventures! Your name is listed on our website and in the credits of new episodes.


  • General Support

  • Behind-the-scenes content

  • Exclusive content

  • Patreon shout-out

$5 monthly

Music Director

All the benefits of Concertmaster Tier, plus monthly zoom chats with the host with updates, questions about guests and episodes, and any general advice and support from our host, Zsolt Bognár! This tier goes even further to support filming of new content and the travels required for the productions.


  • General Support

  • Behind-the-scenes content

  • Exclusive content

  • Live chat

  • Live Q&As

  • Patreon shout-out

$10 monthly

Zsolt Bognár
Hosts Circle

All the benefits of the previous tiers, plus a thank you from the host, and a signed copy of his CD album as pianist "Franz & Franz".

This support tier goes a tremendously long way in making new episodes possible--thank you!


  • General Support

  • Behind-the-scenes content

  • Exclusive content

  • Live chat

  • Live Q&As

  • Patreon shout-out

  • Thank You Gift

$20 monthly

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