BILL NEWMAN talks to British clarinettist
<< Continued from page 2
What do you think about sex entering the classical music business - Vanessa
Mae in a bikini playing her violin in the sea, Lesley Garrett photographed
earlier practically in the nude, with her popular TV show? Is this harmful
as such, or getting a wider proportion of people interested? 'Wider, I think.
Good luck to everybody!' I notice the change in your hair style; is this
something else being a woman you have to be conscious of? Men can get away
with it. 'Yes, it is unfair, I sometimes think, that people will judge you
so much on your appearance. It's part of being a woman, and any woman will
tell you that. Whatever sphere of work, it's still not totally equal between
women and men. I think there's still a long way to go. Take music, its completely
male dominated apart from singers - there's quite a lot of female divas.'
And some fine female conductors. 'Including me, actually. It's quite recent.
Sometimes I direct concertos from the clarinet with orchestra, and last
year I was asked to conduct a whole concert in the Chichester Festival -
with baton, but in the Concerto, without'. Do you feel comfortable with
a stick in the hand? 'Yes, I think it makes it clearer, and I really enjoy
doing that'. Great! You're one of the dual-role merchants. 'Yes, I am another
one of them'. This is very important. You know your repertoire and you play
it well and know how it should sound, now you can re-communicate with the
orchestra in other repertoire. Some of these guys who have just won a competition
go up in front of an orchestra thinking they can control them from the word
go, haven't any knowledge of repertoire. Being an instrumentalist
you have considerable coverage of the classical literature. 'Yes, I've given
a lot of concerts, even in a slightly different sphere, and I've thought
about composers for a long time with ideas of how to shape music, so it's
definitely relevant'. In the near future I am looking forward to her recordings
of Goodman jazz transcriptions and new conducting assignments along with
my warmest good wishes for concerts in England, France, Spain and America.
'Hopefully, more of the same. Music will always be part of my life'.
Copyright © 25 July 2000
Bill Newman, Edgware, UK
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