RS: Has your role in shaping and inspiring young pianists while Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music influenced you as a performer?
JM: I’m full of admiration for my lovely students at the Royal Academy – they come from all over world, from different backgrounds, with immense focus and dedication. I try and help them develop artistically and professionally.
RS: You’ve just recently concluded your time as Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School and Festival, and are well known for your fantastic concert curation while there. Where do you take inspiration from when designing concert programmes?
JM: I’m really interested in working with other artists – singers, poets, film makers, writers….and of course composers! I think of all composers as ‘alive’, talking to one another – so a medieval composer has much in common with an improvising instrumentalist, and Beethoven with Harrison Birtwistle.
RS: If you could host a dinner party and invite three composers, who would they be?
JM: The three I’m playing at Turner Sims this Thursday – Liszt, Ligeti and Schubert – would have a lot to say to one another, as they’re all revolutionary, witty, and part of the Austro-Hungarian region. But I’d really like to have dinner with Cary Grant!
RS: And lastly, what would be your dream day off?
JM: In cold weather like this, building a roaring log fire and watching film noir.
Joanna MacGregor performs live on Thursday 16 January. Book here