“Someone was sitting in the first row holding a mobile phone up right into my face.”
Four-time Grammy® Award winner Anne-Sophie Mutter discusses a recent incident with an audience member, along with many other aspects of her fascinating life as one of the world's most talented and successful violinists.
Episode 71 Oct 21, 2019
Yuja Wang – Pianist and
Deutsche Grammophon Recording Artist
“Life... music and what I do... has to be intermixed, has to be together... or else I feel like I’m not alive.”
In an unusually intimate portrait, young piano superstar Yuja Wang speaks of her life and work, demonstrating by musical examples throughout—including a staggering and delightful rendition of an Art Tatum arrangement of “Tea for Two.” She describes her musical aspirations in contrast with audience perceptions, the value of practicing and not practicing, learning and relearning a piece, and the importance of struggle for musical results. She ends the interview with a touching tribute to the late Claudio Abbado.
Episode 14 Feb 9, 2019
Joyce DiDonato – Operatic Soprano
“The fire you have to walk through will be one of the greatest strengths you ever have.”
Two-time Grammy Award winner Joyce DiDonato has been proclaimed “perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation." Her many other honors include the Gramophone Artist of the Year and Recital of the Year awards. In this portrait, she recounts the trajectory of her musical and life journey, describing how she developed from an immature “caricature of an opera singer” into one of the most important musicians on the stages today.
Episode 55 Feb 9, 2019
Vladimir Ashkenazy – Pianist and Conductor
“If you go for fame, you have a problem.”
Filmed in October 2017 in Cleveland Ohio, living legend Vladimir Ashkenazy is a pianist, conductor, and prolific recording artist. He shares recollections of musical luminaries and also competitions, and recounts why not winning first prize in the 1955 Chopin Competition was helpful. He was forced by Soviet authorities to enter the Tchaikovsky Competition; he shares how he deals with pressures and career expectations. Charming and reflective, his contribution is not to be missed.
Episode 62 Oct 2017
Steven Isserlis – Cellist and Author
“My career didn’t really start to take off until I was thirty. I was by no means a prodigy.”
Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster. The recipient of many awards, Steven Isserlis’s honors include a CBE in recognition of his services to music, and the Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau. He is also one of only two living cellists featured in Gramophone’s Hall of Fame.
Episode 36 Aug 2016
“I don’t try to reel my audience in — I try to reel myself in.”
In one of our most emotionally revealing interviews, American operatic soprano Deborah Voigt opens up about her long and acclaimed career. She discusses performance psychology, acting, the difficulty of maintaining relationships while on the road, and speaks candidly about her struggle with addiction and weight loss.
Episode 39 Feb 9, 2019
“I can only feel free if I forget about myself..”
Susanna Mälkki is making waves in the world of conducting and joins us for a delightful conversation about her journey from being a cellist to being bitten by the conducting bug. She discusses the tradition of conducting from her native Finland, and discusses the conductor's world and responsibilities — and what it means to be a leader. She also discusses performance day routines, dealing with disappointments, and what is required to create magic on stage.
Episode 61 Nov 2019
“Entering a competition is like going to a 7-11 and buying a lottery ticket.”
Distinguished pianist Emanuel Ax won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition, the Avery Fisher Prize, and several Grammy awards, and has been a Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987. He has had works written for him by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner, and as teacher, performer, and recording artist receives uniform praise throughout the world. During a visit to Zsolt's Cleveland home, the irresistibly charming maestro chats about competitions, practicing, and finding a zone for balanced living.
Episode 56 Feb 9, 2019