Three to look out for…
James Newby Baritone
Born: Leicester, UK Career highlight: Performing in the world premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet, and getting to spend two months in the same rehearsal room as the likes of Vladimir Jurowski, John Tomlinson, Sarah Connolly and Allan Clayton. I’m not sure there’s any better education for a young singer. Musical hero: The way baritones Dietrich Fischer-dieskau and Benjamin Luxon colour phrases and bring such honesty to their singing is such a huge inspiration and something I try hard to emulate.
Dream concert: Performing in Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast at the BBC Proms.
Nicolas Namoradze Pianist
Born: Tbilisi, Georgia Career highlight: Playing Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with conductor Karina Canellakis and the Calgary Philharmonic, because it was a performance in which we all shared a vision, making it a really special, joyful collaboration. That night, I also won the Honens International Piano Competition, which has changed my life.
Musical hero: Ligeti’s entire life’s work was one of constant search, discovery and invention, eschewing trends and fashions to find a unique voice in everything he wrote. Dream concert: Performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. I’m not sure how good the acoustics are for solo piano there, but it would still be an incredible experience!
Erika Gundesen Conductor and pianist
Born: Calgary, Canada Career highlight:
There have been a few, including conducting a full orchestra for the first time in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at London’s Bridewell Theatre this year, and playing as répétiteur for Scottish Opera’s Rigoletto, which was my first professional production.
Musical hero: I have always been inspired by passionate and intelligent women, so I would have to say pianist Martha Argerich and soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan. Dream concert: As a conductor it would definitely be Puccini’s Tosca; as a pianist, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2.