...is my latest article, about the pressures facing todays' bevy of young conductors. This was great fun to write, though what appears in the paper is the tip of a major interviewing iceberg - I had wonderful long talks with Ilan Volkov, Semyon Bychkov, Christophe Mangou, Hugh MacDonald and Patrick Harrild but could only use a few choice bits from each.
If I had to pick a favourite from these interviews, it would be Bychkov. He's in his 50s and was able to cast perspective in a way that the twenty-somethings generally can't. He said that one professor in the Leningrad Conservatory told the class that they shouldn't touch Mozart's Symphony No.40 until they were 50. Bychkov put up his hand and said, 'What if I don't live to be 50?'
He also has a WONDERFUL Russian accent.
He will be performing with the WDR Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall on 1 December and as I can't resist Russian accents, I think I shall be there.