Lockdown chats: Alexandra Wood talks to Terje Tønnesen

Posted on: May 29, 2020 in: Programmes>2019-20 Season>London Season, Comment & Media

Written by Alexandra Wood

Last week (w/c 18 May), we were supposed to have been working with the fabulous Terje Tønnesen at Wilton’s Music Hall in our I’m a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star series. I was especially excited about this project, as I have long admired Terje’s tremendous creativity and dynamic approach to concerts and string playing. Hopefully we will get the chance to collaborate with him in the future – fingers crossed! In the meantime, I caught up with him, whilst he was in his summerhouse in Norway.

Please can you explain a little about your “special” version of Vivaldi The Four Seasons, which we would have performed with you last week?

We have a saying in the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra: to take care of tradition, develop it, but also challenge it. Many of our projects have been to challenge pre-existing views on how to play classical music. I’ve tried to explain our Vivaldi interpretation like this: a different way to approach authenticity – not by playing baroque instruments, at baroque pitch, but to freshen up the music so that the audience will feel that they hear a new and untold story, and thus get a glimpse of the moment of creation when this music was new and unheard of.

How have you been keeping busy during lockdown?

I’ve been working on projects that are hopefully coming up in the Autumn – lots of Beethoven! If things go well, I’ll lead projects with all the late string quartets in chamber orchestra versions. Actually, already next week we (Norwegian Chamber Orchestra) are playing op.130/133 in four concerts for a total of 200 people. These small concerts are happily legal now! Last week, we also did some filming of Vivaldi.

What have you been listening to?

Silence is my favourite music – a cliché, but true to me.

What are you most looking forward to, when life returns closer to normal?

I’m looking forward to performing everywhere, as much as possible and for as many people as possible. I’m also hoping to continue my hobbies – painting and carpentry!

I’m a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star

We were really looking forward to I’m a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star at Wilton’s Music Hall this Spring. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 outbreak and consequences of Government restrictions, we were unable to bring these performances to fruition.

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