Interviews with classical musicians and music enthusiasts.
Sunday Baroque Conversations 63: Melika Fitzhugh
Composer Melika M. Fitzhugh is a multi-instrumentalist whose interests transcend centuries, from modern instruments and genres, all the way back to Renaissance and Baroque instruments and music. She especially loves composing modern music for historical instruments because of the unique "chocolatey" sound they impart. Mel Fitzhugh is energetic and upbeat about her life as a composer and music teacher, and she spoke with Suzanne about the process of composing, and some of the things that inspire and motivate her.
Sunday Baroque Conversations 62: Justin Bland
Like many musicians, Dr. Justin Bland has had to adjust his career and his expectations for life during COVID-19 lockdown. 2020 was supposed to be a big year for the American musician, who now lives in Denmark. His engagements as a concerto soloist were all put on hold, and he has used the time to practice and work on projects he might not otherwise have had time to tackle. You can hear some of his signature super-high trumpet playing on his many online video-selfies. Dr. Justin Bland spoke with Suzanne about how and when his love for baroque music began, the historical evolution of the trumpet, and the particular challenges of playing baroque trumpet.
Sunday Baroque Conversations 61: Ann Hobson Pilot
Although Ann Hobson Pilot retired in 2009 after decades as Principal Harpist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she continues to make music and inspire others. The award-winning international musician spoke with Suzanne about her introduction to music, her trailblazing career as an orchestral harpist, and even how she stays in physical shape to play such a physically demanding instrument. Ms. Pilot also shared her perspective on helping classical music culture become more inclusive and welcoming.
Sunday Baroque Conversations 60: Mo Pleasure
Morris "Mo" Pleasure is a global artist with a career spanning more than three decades. He moves effortlessly between a wide range of musical genres including rock, R&B, and jazz, and his early training was in classical piano and gospel music. The Connecticut native is now based in the UK, where even the pandemic has not stopped his projects, such as an upcoming charity single with other stars, including Michael McDonald and Joss Stone. Suzanne spoke with the extraordinary all-around performer -- her onetime college classmate -- about his life as a musician.
Sunday Baroque Conversations 59: Brandyn Lewis
Canadian musician Brandyn Lewis is a professional double-bass player, currently an interim member of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, which he has called a "dream come true." He chatted with Suzanne about the trial and error process of finding the right instrument to play when he was still a child, the teachers, mentors and experiences he had along the way, and his growing career as a performer and teacher himself.
Sunday Baroque Conversations 58: Oleg Timofeyev
Oleg Timofeyev plays guitar and lute, and is a musicologist. The Moscow-born musician has a particular interest in reviving the Russian 7-string guitar and its repertory. He lives in Iowa now, where he teaches, and recently released a download-only album, MUSIC BY 18TH CENTURY WOMEN COMPOSERS. He spoke with Suzanne about his career, the Russian guitar, and his new recording and the collaborators who worked on it with him.