"So many of us musicians play with pain-- even if it's the pain of not being able to express ourselves."
Brian Thornton, longtime cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, teacher, and founder of the Lev Aaronson Legacy Project festival in Texas, joins Living the Classical Life for a discussion about balance in life and music, emotional and physical wellness, and social activism. Filmed in Cleveland, he discusses his influential teacher, and how he leads a uniquely passionate life.
The 50th episode release for Living the Classical Life follows the life, career, and art of tenor Robert White, who was a child star on NBC radio during the medium’s golden age. With archival audio and photos throughout, this special episode is a very personal look at a unique musician. In his lifelong singing career, White has sung for five U.S. Presidents, Britain’s Queen Mother and Prince Charles, Monaco’s Royal Family, and Pope John Paul II. He has recorded extensively for RCA, EMI, Virgin, Sony, Arabesque and Hyperion with such colleagues as Yo-Yo Ma, Placido Domingo, and Stephen Hough, in music ranging from Beethoven to Richard Rodgers and Edouard Lalo. His classical career began in earnest in 1959 when he was soloist at Carnegie Hall with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, and he maintains a highly successful singing and teaching career.
Nadine Sierra is the youngest winner of both the Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In 2010 she took home first prizes at the George London Competition, Gerda Lissner Foundation International Competition, and Loren L. Zachary Society Vocal Competition. On the concert stage, she has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Opéra national de Paris, La Fenice, the Ravinia Festival, Chorégies d'Orange, and Tanglewood among others. In this episode, Nadine and Zsolt chat about not being overwhelmed by past heroes, accepting the possibility of failure, and the importance of belonging.
The award-winning Berlin-based Artemis Quartet joins Living the Classical Life in New York and performs two selections of Beethoven and Hugo Wolf for our cameras in a special and emotionally intense episode. They also share their insights into unity as an ensemble--musically and humanly--as well as searching for meaning in work and in life. They make a special tribute to their fallen colleague in an episode to remember.
"I was totally against competitions— I didn’t allow Lang Lang or Yuja Wang to compete."
Filmed at home in New York, Gary Graffman shares his thoughts on the musical world and anecdotes from his long and storied life as a pianist and teacher. He discusses the fostering of first-rate talent, the dangers of doing too much too soon, and nurturing the individual voice of a student. Along with vivid accounts of Horowitz and his illustrious students, Maestro Graffman describes the effect of focal dystonia on his performing career at a time when the condition was barely understood.