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in conversation with BILL NEWMAN


<< Continued from last week

In his earlier career Martin Jones played (and recorded) in the Cardiff Chamber Ensemble. 'We would take a year and do the entire music of Brahms - the trios, quartets, quintets, all the sonatas. It was wonderful to be able to let loose and we were kept busy so I didn't travel around so much. We did 25 programmes each year and you had to be ready to jump in there with all sorts of wild combinations, and it was a tremendous learning process, free to the public - some 200-250 every week. Now they have subscription series of about 8 concerts.'

Mark Anderson hasn't, as yet, had similar opportunities of teaming up masterclasses on a regular basis with his solo career. 'I think everybody has to do both. The only way to survive in this world is to spin more than one plate at a time. In order to perform you're spinning an unmanageable number of plates with record companies saying "we're interested in doing this or that", the BBC demanding something much more obscure, and the folks in remote music societies who insist on a certain slice of the cake. With huge responsibilties on many levels, that's quite something.' Changes in sound programming presentation, and the fluctuating fortunes of record company product and concert hall attendances have altered the emphases.

MA: 'Everything at the very bottom, at the most fundamental level, has to do with exposure to youth. I've gone into inner city schools in America and the response was unbelievable. The kids have never seen anything like it, and that's where the future is. They are the next concertgoers, record buyers, music and art students. Musical survival has depended on the amateur musician, and they come out in hordes to play music written 500 years back, or yesterday. In America, the Land of Superstars, it's hard to play at all unless you're a Brendel!'

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Copyright © 26 September 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK




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