Im Jahre 1994 wohnte der Tenor René Kollo mit seiner Familie in Luxemburg, wo Remy Franck folgendes Interview mit dem damals 56-jährigen Sänger machte.

René Kollo

Herr Kollo, Sie sind nicht nur sehr aktiv, sondern auch sehr vielseitig. Wie funktioniert das alles?
Ich habe immer gesagt: Wenn ich in das Alter komme, in dem ich jetzt bin, werde ich nur noch die Hälfte machen. Aber genau das Gegenteil ist der Fall. Es wird immer mehr und immer verrückter. Ich singe immer noch hauptsächlich Oper, und seit 20 Jahren immer die großen Rollen. Mich engagiert man nicht für eine kleinere Partie, sondern nur für sechs Stunden. Also Tristan, Tannhäuser,… den gesamten Wagner, den ich als einziger heute noch singe, plus Otello, Bajazzo… Es kommen freilich auch noch andere Sachen hinzu. Sagen wir: Ich machen zur Hälfte Oper, zur Hälfte Liederabende, Konzerte, Operettenkonzerte, und ein bisschen Fernsehen, obschon Fernsehen rar geworden ist in unserem Metier, weil man hier alles nachmacht, was aus Amerika kommt -, und da kommt keine Kunst her. Von da kommt nur Unterhaltung und Kommerz. Read More →

Jeung Beum Sohn
(c) International Piano Forum - Stefan Höning

You have participated in a lot of competitions. Do you like to compete?
I think, I didn’t did take part in that much competitions, less than others. But I’m sure, though competitions are not everything for young musicians, they can sometimes be really helpful. So, let’s say, I definitely don’t like competitions, but sometimes I need them. Read More →

Cecilia Bartoli
(c) Ulli Weber/Decca

Frau Bartoli, bei den Pfingstfestspielen 2019 stellen Sie das Thema Kastraten in den Mittelpunkt – eine fürchterliche Tradition, die über Jahrhunderte gepflegt aber nie in Frage gestellt worden ist. Was hat Sie dazu bewogen, sich dieses Themas und der für Kastratenstimmen geschriebenen Musik anzunehmen?
Das Thema beschäftigt mich seit langem und immer wieder. Vor zehn Jahren habe ich mich ihm mit meiner CD Sacrificium genähert. Schon damals habe ich mir die Frage gestellt, ob man diese außergewöhnlich künstlerischen, ästhetischen und sinnlichen Erlebnisse, die durch große Opfer erwuchsen, überhaupt feiern darf. Ja, ich finde es wichtig, die Geschichte der Kastraten und ihr Leid zur Diskussion zu stellen. Read More →

Rutbert Reisch is the most intimate and profound guardian of Birgit Nilsson’s heritage; he was at first an admirer and then a friend of the great Swedish soprano. After the Nilsson Foundation won an ICMA Award 2019 for the CD box 'Birgit Nilsson. The Great Live Recordings', ICMA Jury member Nicola Cattò (Musica) made the following interview with Rutbert Reisch.

Rutbert Reisch

A calm and elegant gentleman – who only gets angry when a fellow journalist asks him the reason for such a high amount of the Nilsson prize ($ 1 million) and he then replies with annoyance that « no one asks such questions to players or Nobel laureates: and music does much more for peace compared to what they do! » – Reisch listened to Nilsson for the first time in Vienna in 1965: this was followed by two hundred other live performances, including 35 times as Isolde (« but none was the same as the previous »).

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The young French-Danish soprano Elsa Dreisig, now based in Berlin, will be honoured at the ICMA 2019 Award Ceremony in Lucerne for her fascinating CD Miroir(s), published by Erato: a well-deserved recognition for a real talent. ICMA Jury member Nicola Cattò from the Italian magazine Musica made the following interview with the singer.

Elsa Dreisig
(c) Olafur Stainar Gestsson

The family name does not sound French at all: indeed, it is that of her mother Inge, a Danish soprano who has often sung at the Opéra royal de Wallonie. Very French, however, is her father, Gilles Ramade, a versatile artist, singer, pianist, director, composer, who has devoted many efforts to break the boundaries between musical genres, including rock, musical comedy and opera. Read More →

Croatian bassoonist Matko Smolcic is the Young Artist of the Year 2019 of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA). He received his first lessons from Mykhaylo Kraynyk at the Franjo Kuhac music school in Osijek. Since 2014, he has been studying at the Academy of Music in Zagreb with Zarko Perisic. From 2017 to 2018 he studied with Richard Galler at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

Matko Smolcic
c) Christine Kocher

Aside from his regular education, he has also received musical stimuli from attending masterclasses with renowned bassoonists, such as Sergio Azzolini and Bence Boganyi. During his high-school years, he got his first major orchestral experiences. Matko Smolcic performs regularly as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician. Since his repertoire stretches from Baroque to Contemporary music, he performs at a vast number of events and festivals both in his native Croatia and throughout Europe (Slovenia, England, Austria, Switzerland, Wales etc.). Read More →

In the new recording of Rossini's opera Semiramide, released by Opera Rara, Albina Shagimuratova sings the title role. This production has received an ICMA award in the category Opera. The Russian soprano spoke about it with Nikolai Rybinsky, opera reviewer of Radio Orpheus.

Albina Shagimuratova

Every recording has its own story. How do you remember this one?
In 2007, I sang an aria from Semiramide at the International Tchaikovsky Competition. Back then I never thought that I would sing the entire part, as Rossini composed it for his wife, Madame Isabella Colbran, who was a mezzo-soprano. Yet, I could do it, and I began working on the role in 2015. The recording took place in 2016. During the recording I realized and felt how difficult this part is. Read More →

Die eindringliche Stimme von Véronique Nosbaum und der farbenreichen Klavierpart seitens ihres Bruders Romain Nosbaum sind auf Albena Petrovics neuer CD The Voyager so unmittelbar aufeinander bezogen wie in einem intensiven Kammerspiel auf einer imaginären Theaterbühne. Egal ob Paul Verlaines impressionistische Lyrik oder auch mal eine persische Liebespoesie den Ausgangspunkt bildet – verblüffend gehen die Worte eine Symbiose mit Albena Petrovics komprimierter Klangsprache ein. Auch ihre im Jahr 2015 uraufgeführte Oper The Dark kommt - ins kammermusikalische Format übersetzt – mehrfach ins Spiel. Eine zentrale Figur ist die antike Eurydike, die im Königreich der Schatten lebt. Diese Frauenfigur aus der Antike ist eine Entwurzelte, eine Reisende. Das passt auch auf Albena Petrovic, eine tief blickende Komponistin, welche ihre bulgarische Heimat verließ, heute in Luxemburg eine neue Wahlheimat gefunden hat und deren musikalisches Schaffen immer wieder weitgespannte Reflexionsprozesse wiederspiegelt. An diesen ließ sie im Gespräch mit Stefan Pieper aufschlussreich teilhaben.

Albena Petrovic
(c) Stefan Pieper

Erzählen Sie mir etwas über die Historie dieses Projekts!
Ich freue mich, dass ich in den letzten fünf Jahren so viel Gelegenheit hatte, mich in vielen musikalischen Formen auszudrücken. Ich habe Lieder und Kammermusik komponiert – und last but not least sind vier Kammeropern entstanden. Jetzt wünsche ich mir, dass dieses ganze Schaffen noch mehr publik wird – vor allem beim internationalen Publikum. Nicht zuletzt deswegen habe ich mich entschieden, jetzt eine CD heraus zu bringen, die thematisch all dies umfasst. (Hier geht es zur zur Pizzicato-Rezension) Read More →

In today's music world pianist Javier Perianes has become, at the age of 40, the most renowned Spanish performer. His agenda runs naturally through the best stages and international festivals, where he performs in recitals as well as in concerts and tours with the most renowned orchestras and conductors. In recognition of such a successful career, he is Artist of the Year 2019 of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA). We publish the English version of an interview made by Justo Romero for the Spanish ICMA Jury member Scherzo.

Javier Perianes
(c) Josep Molina

When more than two decades ago you were still a young and promising pianist, you denied harbouring the dream of becoming an acclaimed and recognized pianist. Now that the ‘no dream’ has come true, and so many things and successes have happened in your well-established concert career, do you still think the same way?
Yes, I maintain my answer of that time. My aim is to enjoy the music, each and every one of the projects that I have the opportunity to face, plus my family and my environment. Read More →

At the age of seventy-four, and after seventy years at the piano, Nelson Freire has won the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Classical Music Awards, which he will receive at ICMA's Gala in Lucerne on 10 May. Child prodigy, endowed from his beginnings with an astonishing virtuosity, his trajectory has been built on freedom and interpretative class, with a combination of technique and intelligence like it can be found with very few pianists. Assuming that all this has come to him, and that his role has been limited to that of being faithful to those innate qualities, the conversation with the great Brazilian artist - who speaks in a very low voice, with a cadence that suggests both discretion and sharpness - runs, with warm calm, in a dressing room of the Palacio de la Opera de La Coruna, in full rehearsals of his concerts with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia. We publish an interview from the Spanish ICMA Jury member Scherzo, done by Luis Sunen.

Nelson Freire
(c) Fabrice Boissière

You are awarded with the ICMA Liftetime Achievement Award and yet, alongside your predecessors in the award, Menahem Pressler, still active, or Aldo Ciccolini, who played until almost the moment of his death, you are a child …
Well, a child… I remember my childhood often, I remember a lot of the past, but when it comes to music I always look forward. I have had several lives. I would say as many as seven different lives, each very recognizable, sometimes with radical changes and they are like a sum that gives a whole life, mine. One, but well divided into seven parts. Read More →

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