Juan Diego Flórez, Steve Martland
This week Suzy Klein meets Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez and discovers why he always keeps his phone at the side of the stage when he performs. Louis Andriessen pays tribute to his pupil and friend Steve Martland who died earlier this week. Marin Alsop and Nigel Simeone review a new book in which Jonathan Cott retells the story of the night he had dinner with the composer, conductor and vital life force that was Leonard Bernstein and Suzy delves into the inner workings of a piano as she joins the members of the Pianoforte Tuners Association as they celebrate their centenary.
Juan Diego Florez
For the world’s leading opera houses, Juan Diego Flórez is very much the bel canto tenor of choice. In this week’s edition of Music Matters he takes time out from rehearsals for Rossini’s La Donna del lago at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to talk to Suzy Klein. He describes his constant search for vocal perfection and how he always keeps his phone at the side of the stage to record and listen back to his performances. Flórez also reveals that his voice is developing richer colours which will lead to him being able to take on new operatic roles.
Dinner with Lenny
The conductor, composer and vital life-force that was Leonard Bernstein was one of the music world’s great talkers, but rarely was he interviewed in such an informal way as revealed in a new book: ‘Dinner with Lenny’. When Jonathan Cott was invited to talk to Bernstein for Rolling Stone magazine, in what was to be the composer’s last major interview the result was a vodka and cigarette fuelled discourse on all matters musical, political, psychological and spiritual. Some 20 years after the event Cott has reworked the whole 12 hour marathon into a book which Suzy discusses with Bernstein’s pupil - conductor Marin Alsop and Nigel Simeone who has just finished editing Bernstein’s enormous correspondence. There’s also the chance to hear some of the actual recordings of the conversation made by Cott on the night.
Steve Martland (1959-2013)
Earlier this week the Liverpool-born composer Steve Martland died in his sleep at the age of 53. He was a unique figure in British music: independent, passionate and politically motivated with a questioning spirit. He founded his own ensemble The Steve Martland Band which performed his brand of rhythmic, energetic and hugely positive music and ran his own pioneering summer school, Strike Out, for young school-age composers. In this week’s programme we hear part of an interview Martland gave with Tom Service for Music Matters in 2009 and Suzy talks to Martland’s teacher and friend Louis Andriessen who assesses his career and importance.
Pianoforte Tuners’ Association Centenary
To end the programme Suzy travels to Bournemouth to help celebrate the Pianoforte Tuners’ Association as they mark their 100th anniversary with a special AGM. She discovers why its members are so passionate about beats, overtones and equal temperament, finds out about the joys and trials of tuning pianos that can be anything from one year to two hundred years old and at a time when the number of piano sales are shrinking, she finds out whether the future looks rosy for the piano tuner.