An Interview with Amanda Forsyth

Hannah Nepil speaks to Amanda Forsyth, lead cellist of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, ahead of their collaboration with the RPO at the end of the month.

There’s a matter-of-fact quality to Amanda Forsyth’s voice when she says, ‘it was the worst and best time of my life.’ The Canadian cellist is describing the run-up to the 2011 world premiere of A Ballad of Canada, the last piece ever composed by her father, Malcolm Forsyth. He was suffering from pancreatic cancer at the time and had been told he had two months to live. ‘But he lived for nine and the reason was that he had this premiere and he wanted to be there. And he was. Somehow he managed to get, with his oxygen tanks, to Ottawa,’ Forsyth recalls.

Hannah Nepil talks Music and Neuroscience

The concert on Thursday 27 November at Cadogan Hall, featuring conductor Alessandro Fabrizi and pianist Alexandra Dariescu, is dedicated to Music and Neuroscience – a scientific project that aims to develop and deepen understanding of the relationship between the themes of music production and science.

Picture the following scenario: you’re feeling under the weather, so you make an appointment with your GP. After a lot of ho-humming, they dispatch you to a specialist, who prescribes three hours of Bach’s Third Brandenburg Concerto shaken up with half an hour of Haydn’s Nelson Mass – to be taken twice daily with food and absolutely no Wagner.

Under the Stars 2014

Yesterday evening (Sunday 17 August 2014), seventeen Every Child a Musician (EcAM) participants from the London Borough of Newham were given the chance of a lifetime as they performed their very own creative composition alongside the RPO at Newham’s annual Under the Stars concert.

The piece was written over four days of creative workshops with RPO musicians, during which participants learned about Elgar’s 'Enigma' Variations before trying their own hands at writing themes and variations about friends, family and people in their community.

An Interview with Cristian Mandeal

Cristian Mandeal conducts the first concert of the Orchestra’s 2014-15 season at Cadogan Hall next month. Hannah Nepil speaks to him.

When Cristian Mandeal guides the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra through Franck’s Symphony in D minor this September, he will aim to steer a path between two cultures. ‘This symphony sits on the boundary between a French and German mood,’ he says. ‘There is a flexibility to it, which is more appropriate to French music than German – but it’s not French in the same way as Debussy or Ravel or Berlioz. It is a mood which is very specific to Franck.’

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