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Voids

An Interview with Rebecca Saunders By · Date 06/16/2016 I met the composer Rebecca Saunders in her Berlin studio on a bright afternoon last week. Her new score was taped up around the wall; a page detached itself and floated to the ground. We started by talking about how we were not going to talk […]

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Two Cities

An Interview with Marin Alsop By · Photography Grant Leighton · Date 06/09/2016 For this interview, I reached Marin Alsop on Skype from Brussels, where she was conducting the finals of the Queen Elisabeth Competition for pianists. She usually performs a wide variety of repertoire—did she have to do the same piece over and over […]

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Occupy Handel

An Interview with Claudio Alves By and · Photography Ninja Midia (CC) · Date 05/26/2016 200 years since his birth, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Karl Marx Exhibitions Organisation present a series of concerts, soundart installations and events commemorating the life and work of Karl Marx in Trier in Germany and Birmingham and London in […]

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Dresden Wall

An Interview with Jan Vogler By · Photography Felix Broede · Date 05/26/2016 The standard translation for the acronym of the anti-immigrant, Dresden-based protest group Pegida is Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West. But the movement’s German name uses the word Abendland—roughly, “Occident”—a term that comes closer to evoking its irrational, almost apocalyptic, […]

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Upside Down

An Interview with Patricia Kopatchinskaja By · Translated from the German by · Photography Marco Borggreve (Adaption: VAN) · Date 05/11/2016 In a February 2016 Guardian article, the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja wrote of staid programming in classical music, “Wouldn’t some madness be preferable to this normality?” Her latest project, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, is […]

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Changing The System

An Interview with Christian Wolff By · Photography © CHRISTIAN WOLFF · Date 05/11/2016 I met the composer Christian Wolff for this interview some time ago in Hamburg, Germany. There were a few other people in the room—from the festival klub katarakt, which had a commissioned a new work from him—and I asked Wolff if […]

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Coordinates of Value

An Interview with Liza Lim By · Photography © Ricordi Berlin · Date 28/4/2016 As part of our partnership with ricordilab, we spoke with the composer Liza Lim about her duties with this competition and the benefits and limitations of composition competitions in general. VAN: Composers often complain that hyper-complex-looking scores have an advantage in […]

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Unfinished Business

An Introduction to Eli Marshall By · Date 28/4/2016 For Intro, we speak with the musicians who don’t show up in press releases. We hope to portray a diversity of background and experience in classical music. This is the second interview in an ongoing series.Occasional contact keeps memories vivid. When I think of Eli Marshall, […]

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Answers

An Interview with Elīna Garanča By · Title Image Courtesy of elinagaranca.com · Date 28/4/2016 Elīna Garanča stunned audiences when I saw her in the Metropolitan Opera’s “Roberto Devereux” in March, with a memorable performance even against Sondra Radvanovsky’s history-making role. She received an Opera News Award along with Waltraud Meier at the Plaza Hotel […]

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Continental Shift

An Interview with Ilan Volkov By · Photography NYPL (PD) · Date 04/14/2016 Ilan Volkov’s Tectonics Festival, in Reykjavik on April 14-15 and in Glasgow on May 7-8, conjures images of dramatic, continental upheaval. But plate motion is an incredibly slow process—land masses move at rates measured in millimeters per year. Listening to the names […]