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No Fixed Abode

An Interview with John Anderson By · Photography Tommaso Tuzj · Date 03/31/2016 In this issue’s Design Review, we look at several classical album covers, some of which display famous performers prominently. Odradek Records, a label which opposes the “model centered on just a few big names,” however, chooses its performers anonymously, without considering fame, […]

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Patriarchal Structures

This interview took place in November 2015, and is reproduced here in an abridged version. We spoke with Neuwirth about the persistence of the patriarchy in classical music, the new generation of women composers, and her recent and older works. VAN: I feel there’s an imbalance between the genders in our musical society. Are quotas […]

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Finite Measures

An Interview with Dr. Joanne Loewy By · Photography antidigital_da (CC), Henne (CC) · Date 03/16/2016 In our last issue, VAN published Elena Cheah’s honest audition diary. The process is critical for professional musicians, but can also leave them discouraged about their career prospects or disconnected from their art form. For this follow-up article, we […]

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Homecomings

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 first interview in an ongoing series. Andrew Trovato is a pianist, composer, and childhood friend. In the course of two long Skype sessions—he was lying […]

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Singing By Radar

I met Thomas Hampson for an interview before the meeting of a Munich opera club, where he was scheduled to speak. He was only very slightly late, but the well-meaning members of the of the club seemed worried. “Thomas Hampson never shows up alone,” I was told. At one point in our conversation, a painting […]

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Among Strangers

“The talk about music being a universal language is a used and abused cliché,” says Kinan Azmeh, the Syrian clarinetist featured in Morgan Neville’s film “The Music of Strangers.” While there are some basic building blocks of music, its sounds, grammar, and syntax—not to mention methods of teaching, learning, and performing—are as various as the […]

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What Isn’t Art

The morning after a concert—with the Freiburger Barockorchester, in Cologne—I meet the German baritone Christian Gerhaher for an interview in a hotel lobby. We keep talking in the car on the way to the airport, and then in the terminal. A concert in the evening means that no energy can be wasted during the day. […]

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Faces of Change

Chineke! is Europe’s first black and minority ethnic orchestra. Founded by Chi-chi Nwanoku, its artistic director and the principal double bassist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the ensemble is made up of independently active musicians who come together especially for projects. The name derives from a word in the southeastern Nigerian language […]

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Decades

I studied composition with Georg Friedrich Haas in Basel from 2011-2013, his last years there before his move to New York City, where he teaches at Columbia University. In my Master’s recital, a musician showed late and an instrument I built broke, and I had trouble facing the—very supportive—audience. He managed to make me do […]

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Stay Worried

I first met Betsy Jolas, a distinguished composer with a nearly 70-year career, in 2005. I had received a scholarship to attend the Academie Villecroze in Provence, France, and performed a piece of hers there. The work was “Mon Ami,” for a pianist; it’s unique in that the pianist sings, her voice melding with the […]