Studying historical flute recordings exposed Abigail to techniques no longer taught to musicians, let alone heard in performance. The recordings formed the backbone of her PhD thesis on musical expressivity and changes in flute performance style. Abigail later drew on these experiences in the sound archive to refresh her own performance practices.
Bobby Mitchell (piano)
‘I’ve always considered musical practice to be creative, with unusual results happening all the time. There must be something unusual or spontaneous in every instance of good music-making.’
Daniel Leech-Wilkinson (musicologist)
‘I was intrigued by early recorded singers when I was still a child. One of my aunts had been friends with the widow of baritone Harry Plunket Greene, and she had some test pressings of his recordings. I was fascinated by his ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’ (Schubert’s ‘Der Leiermann’, the last song of Winterreise): how could it be so unlike the score and yet so much more moving than any other recording?’
David Dolan (piano, improvisation)
David Dolan believes that one can improvise not only by inventing, or creating new musical material. He suggests a larger definition of improvisational practice as a continuum that includes not only spontaneous invention but also performing repertoire with an ‘improvisational state of mind’.
Diana Gilchrist (soprano)
Diana’s career as a singer began in Canada where she was the Founding Artistic Director of Ottawaʼs Opera Lyra. She moved to Europe to pursue a solo career and was based in German opera houses. Subsequently her work has taken her across Europe, North America and to the Far East.
Mine Doğantan-Dack (piano)
Mine Doğantan-Dack, who is both a scholar and a professional performer, pointed out already in 2006 (in a symposium in London) that 20th-century classical music performers themselves play a decisive role in sustaining the ideology of the musical work and the notion of faithfulness to the composer’s intentions, through their traditionally conservative approaches to musical scores.
Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin)
Patricia Kopatchinskaja is one of a tiny number of classical musicians since the Second World War (Glenn Gould was another) who have managed to maintain a superstar career while playing well-known scores in highly unconventional ways.