Tell us about the programme for your recital at Turner Sims
It’s a combination of late, heroic Beethoven and the inimitably witty Stravinsky. Stravinsky didn’t write a great deal for the piano (although he was a very handy pianist himself), but his 1924 Sonata is an overlooked masterpiece. In the space of nine minutes he manages to reference Bach, Beethoven, silent film music and jazz.
How do you prepare for solo piano recitals?
I’m preparing all the time; musicians are constantly playing, practising, studying and teaching music. So it’s really a very organic, rolling process. This particular programme contains a brand new piece for me, and works I first learnt as a student. It’s always a process of consolidation and exploration.
You work a lot with young people, how important do you think it is for them to experience live music?
I work with students a lot – at the Royal Academy of Music, or in festivals and summer schools like Dartington. Culture is every child’s birth right, which we have to protect. It’s really as important as reading and writing, maths and history; every child should experience music, both as a creator, a player, and a listener.
Tell us your top five performance venues …
How about the Royal Albert Hall; the Bimhaus in Amersterdam; Salzburg’s Mozarteum; and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. I once played in a small concert hall on Arctic Svalbard, and went sledging across the snow with twenty huskies afterwards – it was fantastic.
Joanna MacGregor comes to Turner Sims on Thursday 9 June, as part of our Piano Series.