Miss Music Nerd (AKA composer/keyboardist Linda Kernohan) recently had an opportunity to chat with Sir Harrison Birtwistle after hearing his Violin Concerto premiered by Christian Tezlaff and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  In the course of their conversation, Birtwistle discussed the impetus for writing a violin concerto, his difficulties with precompositional schemes (“I get terribly bored…by the time I’ve got 200 yards down the road”), and how he handles getting “stuck” while writing a work.

The entire interview (with some interesting links to other Birtwistliana) can be found here.

Ms. Hahn, if you’re looking for a new concerto to learn (hint, hint)….

2 thoughts on “An interview with Sir Harrison Birtwistle”
  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Chris!

    I just came across an article in New Music Box where the director of the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble describes fielding a hostile question from an audience member who was not receptive to contemporary music. Here’s the money quote:

    “Of course,” Weiss mused, “I could have been like Harrison Birtwistle when he was here last year. He just said ‘That’s a stupid question’ and moved on.

    I’m glad I didn’t ask anything that provoked a response like that!


  2. Nicely done Miss Music Nerd!

    I also like your reviews of BMOP performancs, and your blogging on classical music Grammys, esp. your interview with Steven Mackey from Princeton.

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