As part of its Winter and Summer Festivals, Seattle Chamber Music Society presents informal, in-depth discussions with Classical KING FM 98.1 host Dave Beck and Festival musicians. These Classical Conversation Podcast interviews give an inside look at the Chamber Music repertoire performed during the Festivals with world-class performers’ insight. Classical KING FM and Seattle Chamber Music Society, Producers. Bill Levey, Recording Engineer and Technical Production.
#80: Ani Aznavoorian, Part I - 2020 Summer Festival
Part 1 of our conversation with cellist Ani Aznavoorian, recorded at the new SCMS Center for Chamber Music in downtown Seattle. Ani talks about how her father left an unsatisfying job as a chemist to retrain for a career as a string instrument builder. She performs on a cello he built for her. Ani also shares stories of her mother’s dedication as a Suzuki parent and reflects on how the city of Chicago provided a rich musical atmosphere for an aspiring cellist.
#81: Ani Aznavoorian, Part II - 2020 Summer Festival
Ani Aznavoorian began playing the cello at age 3 with one of America’s most beloved teachers in the Suzuki Method of musical instruction. In part 2 of our conversation with her, Ani talks about how Gilda Barston created an atmosphere of joyful engagement and community among her young students in Chicago. Ani learned through her own experience as a professor of cello that skilled early childhood teachers are the unsung heroes of music education.
#82: Ani Aznavoorian, Part III - 2020 Summer Festival
In part 3 of our conversation, cellist Ani Aznavoorian talks about the despair she felt when the pandemic forced cancellation of so many performances, and how playing solo Bach on the patio of her Santa Barbara, California apartment was a profoundly healing experience. Ani shares how her embrace of new technologies is part of her new resolve to make music despite difficult circumstances.
#77: Orion Weiss, Part I - 2020 Summer Festival
Part 1 of our conversation with pianist Orion Weiss was recorded at the new SCMS Center for Chamber Music in downtown Seattle. Orion talks about how an international concert artist like himself adjusts to life during a global pandemic and how he has used the time away from the concert circuit to learn new works including Bach's “Goldberg Variations” and the hyper-virtuosic “Islamey” by Mily Balakirev.
#78: Orion Weiss, Part II - 2020 Summer Festival
During the regular concert season pianist Orion Weiss plays concertos with major orchestras. In part 2 of our conversation, he talks about the different “colors of adrenaline” he experienced early in his career when he was called on short notice to perform in place of prominent orchestral soloists who had taken ill. Orion also discusses how working with a therapist helped him learn to fall back in love with the Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto.
#79: Orion Weiss, Part III - 2020 Summer Festival
In the final part of our conversation with pianist Orion Weiss, he discusses an upcoming album featuring pieces dealing with grief and loss. Ravel honored friends lost in World War I in “Le Tombeau De Couperin.” Shostakovich reflects on a teacher lost in the wake of the Siege of Leningrad” and Brahms captures his mentor Robert Schumann’s fragile psyche in Brahms’ set of “Variations on a Theme of Schumann.”
Definitely worth a listen!
The Seattle Chamber Music Society is such a gem in Seattle: every year we greatly anticipate each set of concerts for the great rep and incredible musicians. This podcast is a must-listen for fans of SCMS, and really for any classical music enthusist. It's fascinating to hear stories and insights from James Ehnes and the musicians themselves. Very enjoyable overall and definitely worth a listen!
Great exploration of music & inspiration
This is not a music podcast, although it does contain some lovely classical music clips along the way that help support each artist's personal story. I love that this podcast gives listeners the opportunity to learn when and how musicians were inspired because those stories aren't often told. We hear so much about composers, but most of them are dead! The stories featured here are sometimes fun, sometimes silly, sometimes a little sad, but always sincere.
I found this podcast via KING FM and will definitely keep my ears peeled for any future podcasts they produce.