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Speed Interview – Laurence Cummings

Tue 13 Aug 2013

After a sold out Night Shift at Wilton’s, we spoke with director Laurence Cummings about clipping his nails, among other things…

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“Handel’s audience were out for a good time…”

Mon 29 Jul 2013

Ahead of our Night Shift this Wednesday, director Laurence Cummings, who leads the show, talks to us about concert-going in Handel’s time and why classical music shouldn’t be relaxing…

 

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Question Time: Laurence Cummings

Mon 8 Jul 2013

We’re hoping to be catching up with conductor Laurence Cummings this week, who’ll be directing/conducting our Night Shift at Wilton’s Music Hall on 31 July. We’ve got plenty we want to talk to him about, but thought it’d be great if we could get your input too.

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Laurence Cummings: Speed Interview

Tue 28 Feb 2012

After our Roundhouse spectacular last week The Night Shift returns to its Southbank Centre home on 4 March with an all- Bach programme directed by Laurence Cummings. We put our fiendish speed interview questions to him…

What/when was your big breakthrough?

I feel that my musical career has been one long and fortunate slow burn but the thing that really changed my musical life and was a catalyst in the process of becoming a conductor was being appointed Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in 1997. I have enjoyed working with the students so much over the years and learnt so much from them. In fact Matthew Truscott, the leader for these projects, was one of the first students I worked with at RAM. I am very proud of his amazing achievements and delighted to be sharing the concert platform with him!

What do you fear the most?
A life lived in fear is a life half-lived (quotation from the film Strictly Ballroom!), however I won’t go skiiing in case I break my arm or damage my hands. It doesn’t stop me dancing wildly at parties though!

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My boyfriend’s.

What – or where – is perfection?
A walk in the countryside with my boyfriend.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Mrs Madrigal from Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Hanging up my coat and putting down my bag when getting home.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
My mother. She has achieved the most extraordinary things in her life. After my father died tragically early, she raised three children with strength, courage and grace and went on to become a Macmillan nurse. On retirement only a year’s voluntary service overseas would do! Where? Siberia of course. She worked with hospices in Russia and helped to forge links with British palliative care teams, creating exchanges of medical equipment and information. She is also wonderful company and her favourite word is ‘fun’!

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
DIY.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Live in the moment. I was very taken, when reading Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Art of Living and Dying, with the quotation from William Blake ‘He who binds to himself a joy, does the winged life destroy, But he who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in Eternity’s sunrise’.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Bach’s Mass in B minor.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
Where to start?!  With the OAE you can take the phenomenal standard of playing as a given, but what is so fascinating and energising is playing with musicians who have such a high level of mutual respect and are able to share musical ideas without egos  thwarting proceedings. And the players have a cracking sense of humour!

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February podcast: Roundhouse, Bach pushes buttons & Pod Idol

Fri 10 Feb 2012

Our latest Podcast is now out, and focuses our two upcoming big events at the Roundhouse and Southbank Centre.
We hear from top conductor Sir Mark Elder who tells us about Berlioz’s incredible version of Romeo & Juliet which we’ll play at the Roundhouse on 24 Feb, kicking off the Reverb 2012 Festival. Plus Roundhouse Head Honcho Marcus Davey tells us about this iconic building.

On 4 March we’re back at Southbank Centre for a Night Shift as part of the London 2012 Festival. We’ll be featuring Bach and director Laurence Cummings tells us why Bach will push your buttons…

Plus there’s audience reaction from the first pub gig at the George Tavern and information on the return of Pod Idol, your chance to the voice of the Night Shift podcasts.

Happy listening!
The Night Shift February 2012 Podcast by The Night Shift

(For those that prefer it the podcast will be available on itunes next week…)

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