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Esa-Pekka Salonen honoured by RPS

This year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, which focus on excellence in live UK classical music, took place during May. Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen won the Audience Development and Creative Communication awards for the same initiative – the Philharmonia Orchestra’s multimedia “re-rite” Stravinsky installation. Oliver Knussen won the Conductor award, while Kaija Saariaho collected a prize for Large-Scale Composition for her Notes on Light.

The Singer award went posthumously to tenor Philip Langridge, with tributes from Sir John Tomlinson, Sir Simon Rattle via video, and Langridge’s widow, mezzo-soprano Dame Ann Murray. The prize had been presented to Langridge in hospital just days before he died.

Salonen won two

RPS awards

FOR THE RECORD SOUNDBITES

G R A M O P H O N E T A L K S T O . . .

Alina Ibragimova The violinist on her new live disc of Beethoven sonatas

How did you come to record Beethoven’s violin sonatas? In October 2009 Cédric Tiberghien and I decided to do a residency at Aldeburgh. Although we had already played several Beethoven sonatas together, this was a chance to tackle the entire cycle, rehearsing intensively for a whole week and then playing them over the course of a weekend. So when we came to perform the cycle at Wigmore Hall we knew them very well. The four sonatas on this disc represent the journey from a young Beethoven to a more mature composer. In many ways the music speaks for itself – as long as you convey each sonata’s musical language directly and find the right balance between violin and piano the music works on its own terms. We have now recorded all of the sonatas and will release two more discs after this one.

This is an album for Wigmore Hall Live. Do you prefer recording live to being in a studio? The two are completely different. Of course live recording has a very special energy to it but in a studio you tend to experiment more, so they are very separate but valid processes. Wigmore Hall is one of my favourite places to give concerts because the atmosphere is always great, the acoustics are incredible and the piano is excellent. It is just the perfect performance space for me.

You have collaborated with Cédric Tiberghien for a number of years. How has your partnership developed with time? We met on the BBC New Generation Artists scheme and performed for the first time together in Ravel’s Piano Trio at the City of London Festival. The more we work together, the more we feel we can completely trust each other. It’s very special to be able trust someone so much that you can do whatever you like in the music and you know that they will do whatever they like and that it will all come together. Ibragimova’s disc is reviewed on page 67

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TAKING NOTE WHAT THE PAPERS SAY…

The Times Plácido Domingo’s Ring cycle with LA Opera suffered a PR setback when British tenor John Treleaven, due to appear as Siegfried, criticised the production. The singer, who “denounced the make-up as clownish and the staging as physically risky”, claimed he would not “‘pull his punches’ about the £22m production and was no longer on speaking terms with Achim Freyer, 76, the German artistic director”. Members of the board countered that Treleaven “knew what he was taking on for $15,000 (£10,400) a night…Where is his

The title of BBC Young Musician 2010 has been awarded to pianist Lara Ömeroğlu, a student at London’s Purcell School. The 16-year-old triumphed over lautist Emma Halnan and violinist Callum Smart, performing with Vasily Petrenko and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In the past the competition has launched the careers of Nicola Benedetti, Natalie Clein, Freddy Kempf and Emma Johnson.

www.gramophone.co.uk

British stiff upper lip?” asked one. entertainment.timesonline.co.uk

Daily Telegraph, Australia After 10 years of lobbying, the New South Wales government is to come to the rescue of Sydney Opera House with an A$130m package. The funding comes after an engineering report threatened closure of the house with revelations of “risks of ‘multiple fatalities’ because of ageing stage machinery”. Although less than the A$800m the Opera House requested, the grant will pay to replace stage machinery and thus allow the venue to remain open. www.dailytelegraph.com.au the A$800m the Opera House

The Polar Music Prize has named Italian composer Ennio Morricone and Icelandic singer Björk as 2010 laureates. The artists will receive their SEK1m awards from King Carl XVI Gustaf on August 30. Founded in 1989 by ABBA manager Stig Anderson, the Prize recognises two musicians annually. Previous recipients include Mstislav Rostropovich, Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

GRAMOPHONE AUGUST 2010 15

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