Manage episode 361998320 series 1301169
Sara Mohr-Pietsch talks to violinist Nicola Benedetti as she prepares for her inaugural programme as Edinburgh International Festival director, becoming the first Scot to hold the position in the festival's 75-year history. Nicola discusses the challenges of balancing the festival job with life as a performer and sets out her vision for opening up music to a wider audience and deepening the culture of listening.
We visit English National Opera to find out about a new staging of Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, 30 years after the first commercial recording of the piece shot to fame reaching number six in the UK pop album charts. Sara talks to Russian-American conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya and director/designer Isabella Bywater about their new production of the piece and how the operatic setting changes our experience of the music.
Baritone Lucia Lucas and composer Tom W Green discuss The World’s Wife - a chamber opera from 2017 for string quartet and singer which uses text from the poetry collection by Carol Ann Duffy, who presents world history through the eyes of the wives and partners of the men in the history books. They talk to Sara about the use of material by historic women composers, the power of the poetry, and what it means to rework the piece with a transgender opera singer in 2023.
And with stories in the media of a sector in decline, we look at what the numbers tell us about the state of classical music in the UK, with contributions from Anne Torreggiani at The Audience Agency on concert-going, Janis Susskind at Boosey and Hawkes on commissioning and audiences, and Dr Adam Whittaker at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on uptake of A-levels and grade exams.