COMPETITION TIME: Ok, we can’t actually take you to Finland. But we can bring you music that evokes stunning Finn… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
In the lead up to Messiah on 11 December, we fired some quick questions at director Robert Howarth.
What do you fear the most?
Loneliness, or spiders.
Which mobile number do you call the most?
What – or where – is perfection?
Unfortunately perfection is impossible, but my cat Basil comes close.
Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Charlie Brown, I can relate to his many disappointments.
Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
My wife, for her manifold talents and infinite beauty. She is a constant inspiration to me and without her I would be useless.
What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
The ability to communicate in any language.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To believe in and like yourself.
What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Right now, Bruckner Four, first movement. Ask me next week and it’ll be something else, there’s a lot in my CD collection.
Is it challenging playing as well as directing a performance (as you will be on 11 Dec)?
Yes, but I love it. It’s so rewarding being completely interactive with the music. You can change the mood just by the choice of notes you play, and in a live situation that’s just an incredible feeling.
What’s the best thing about playing with the OAE?
It has to be being surrounded by top level professional musicians, who all share the same aim of producing the best possible music.