Exclusive Artist Interviews from Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall brings you exclusive audio interviews with the artists you love.


Featured Interviews

John Barry

John Barry



John Barry is a British composer who is probably best known as the man behind the James Bond sound, having scored the soundtracks for such classics as Goldfinger, A View to a Kill, and From Russia with Love. No matter how large the scope of the project, he always begins focused on the film's first few seconds.

Interview recorded March 2009
Ian Bostridge

Ian Bostridge



In recital, tenor Ian Bostridge spends a good amount of his time delivering lines of Schubert’s most intimate lieder. He doesn’t let the disconnect of pouring out intensely private emotions in a packed public concert hall distract him. For him, it’s all about communicating to the audience from the heart.

Interview recorded March 2009
Terry Riley

David Harrington

Terry Riley & David Harrington (Kronos Quartet)



Composer Terry Riley and Kronos Quartet founder David Harrington chat about how Riley’s In C influenced their lives, their perceptions, and the course of musical history.

Terry Riley: In C is now available for order from The Shop at Carnegie Hall.

Interview recorded February 2009

Past Interviews (A-Z)

Thomas Ades

Thomas Adès



Composer. Pianist. Conductor. Thomas Adès explains the balancing act that’s required to keep up with his musical life on and off the stage. He describes the exhilarating experience of walking into Carnegie Hall for the first time—his own composition his introduction to the hall’s legendary acoustics.
March 2008
Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Pierre-Laurent Aimard



Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard credits his first piano lessons with helping him develop his skill for bridging various musical styles. He reminisces about Pierre Boulez’s invitation to join the Ensemble Intercontemporain at the tender age of 19.
December 2006
Geri Allen

Geri Allen



Geri Allen’s father introduced her to the world of jazz through his record collection. Now a jazz composer and pianist, she creates her own brand of jazz and collaborates with some of the most innovative musicians in the field.
December 2006
Piotr Anderszewski

Piotr Anderszewski



Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski is known for the precision and intensity of his performances on the stage. Off the stage, his passions for musical study and exploration have brought about an intense affection for the music of Karol Szymanowski.

Interview recorded December 2008
Leif Ove Andsnes

Leif Ove Andsnes



Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes recalls the instense emotion that gripper him as he walked onto the Carnegie Hall stage for the first time. He also talks about the music of Grieg and Janáček, the ghosts of recordings he made many years ago, and the great bond he’s forged performing with violinist Christian Tetzlaff.
April 2008
Emanuel Ax

Emanuel Ax



Pianist Emanuel Ax talks about his teenage years spent sneaking into Carnegie Hall to hear rehearsals and sleeping on the sidewalk for a chance at Horowitz tickets. He also recalls a few lessons he learned about Beethoven—lessons a performer might not know from merely reading a score.
April 2008
Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim



Since his Carnegie Hall debut in 1957, Daniel Barenboim has made countless appearances as conductor and piano soloist. The Hall’s former artistic advisor Ara Guzelimian draws back the curtain on what drives this remarkable mind.
December 2006
Isabel Bayrakdarian

Isabel Bayrakdarian



Soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian talks about confidence that can be gained from being married to your recital partner, and the powerful connections that can be made while exploring your own heritage.
March 2008
George Benjamin

George Benjamin



Composer George Benjamin talks about his creative process and the role Disney’s Fantasia played in developing his love for classical music.
March 2007
Berliner Philharmoniker

Berliner Philharmoniker



Get the inside story on the Berliner Philharmoniker, as members of this famed institution talk about the time they’ve spent under conductors Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, and Sir Simon Rattle; the audition process; and how the Berlin sound has a way of drawing players in.
October 2007
Jamie Bernstein

Jamie Bernstein



Jamie Bernstein lets us in on some of the fun to be had with rhythm, and tells the story of how Bernstein Beat came to be.
2008
Jonathan Biss

Jonathan Biss



Jonathan Biss talks about his path to becoming a concert pianist and the ways he has handled the international recognition and critical acclaim that has come along with it.
January 2007
David Bruce

David Bruce



British-American composer David Bruce has a global thought process when it comes to writing music for the concert hall, illustrated by his acclaimed Carnegie Hall commissioned work, Gumboots—based on dancing which originated in the mines of South Africa under the brutal conditions of Apartheid.

October 2008
Excerpts: David Bruce’s Gumboots; St Lawrence String Quartet, Todd Palmer clarinet
David Bruce’s Piosenki, Recorded on April 15, 2007 at Weill Recital Hall
David Byrne

David Byrne



Co-founder of Talking Heads, David Byrne talks about the countless musicians of various genres who helped shape his own musical sensibilities.
January 2007
Uri Caine

Uri Caine



Composer and pianist Uri Caine has made a singular mark on the musical world by examining works by Mahler, Bach, Wagner, and Mozart through a jazz lens. Here, he talks about his influences and the tools he uses in his compositional process.
January 2008
Elliott Carter

Elliott Carter



Composer Elliott Carter has witnessed an incredible amount of history first hand. Born Dec. 11, 1908, he was inspired early on by the premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Nearly a century later, his work is championed by musicians and fans who appreciate that Carter has never stopped moving his music forward.

Interview recorded November 2008
Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang



Sarah Chang recalls the role fellow violinist Isaac Stern played in shaping her career, and reveals a world outside of the performance stage—mentoring and fellowship.
November 2006
Barbara Cook

Marilyn Horne

Barbara Cook and Marilyn Horne



Barbara Cook and Marilyn Horne talk about the lessons they try to pass on to aspiring opera and theater singers and the qualities they look for—big voices and big personalities.
September 2006
Paquito D’Rivera

Paquito D’Rivera



Grammy–winning clarinet and saxophone player Paquito D’Rivera may be firmly rooted in Latin jazz rhythms, but he has shared stages and exchanged ideas with artists across many genres giving him a level of musical understanding that he’s anxious to pass on to younger players.
February 2007
David Daniels

David Daniels



American countertenor David Daniels has realized the kind of career he always dreamed of—leading opera roles, international song recitals, highly acclaimed recordings—albeit with a much different voice than he ever imagined.
January 2008
Carl Davis

Carl Davis



Conductor and composer Carl Davis has received great acclaim for his compositions for television and feature films, including the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, Mike Leigh’s Topsy Turvy, and a series of restored silent films. Here he talks about why he thinks it’s important to bring music from the big screen to the concert stage.
July 2008
Jeremy Denk

Jeremy Denk



Pianist Jeremy Denk has an insatiable appetite for new sounds and new repertoire he can put his own stamp on—and Charles Ives is one composer to whom he dedicates himself.
Oct 2008
Danielle de Niese

Danielle de Niese



Soprano Danielle de Niese made her debut with the Los Angeles Opera at only 15 years old and stepped into the spotlight only four years later with the Metropolitan Opera. Here she speaks about the dramatic heroines she plays on stage.
August 2008
Takács Quartet

Edward Dusinberre (Takács Quartet)



Edward Dusinberre, violinist with the acclaimed Takács Quartet, talks about the groups approach to unifying their four distinct musical voices into one expressive sound.
October 2007
Beethoven

Emerson String Quartet
Beethoven’s Deafness and Musical Space



Members of the Emerson String Quartet, David Finckel and Eugene Drucker, explain the impact of Beethoven’s deafness on his late works.
February 2007
Christoph Eschenbach

Christoph Eschenbach



Christoph Eschenbach sheds some light on a more humorous side of the notorious Cleveland Orchestra Music Director George Szell as a mentor—a relationship which in turn inspired him to shepherd up-and-coming artists.
January 2008
Ingrid Fliter

Ingrid Fliter



Argentine pianist Ingrid Fliter gives the inside story on how she on how she negotiates getting acquainted with a new instrument at every tour stop, and how a chance encounter with Martha Argerich had her packing her bags for Europe.
March 2007
Claude and Pamela Frank

Claude and Pamela Frank



In December 2008, Claude Frank and his daughter Pamela teamed up to teach a series of Professional Training Workshops at Carnegie Hall focused on the violin sonatas and piano trios of Beethoven and Schubert. The time they had with the participants allowed them to take a fresh approach toward instructing.

Interview recorded December 2008
Susan Graham

Susan Graham



Susan Graham, one of America’s most celebrated mezzo-sopranos, found her musical inspiration hearing Luciano Pavarotti while singing from the back of the chorus. Hear her story and how she helps break the stereotypes of her opera character types by presenting a significant number of concert performances.
Feburary 2008
Hilary Hahn

Hilary Hahn



Violinist Hilary Hahn has opened her ears and fingers to opportunities that stretch her as a performer beyond the established parameters of the classical genre—everything from working on major motion picture soundtracks to playing shows with indie rock bands. In the end, she says, it simply makes her a better artist.
February 2007
Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler



Daniel Handler (more commonly known as Lemony Snicket) talks about his collaboration with composer Nathaniel Stookey on The Composer Is Dead, a musical “whodunit” commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony, and introduces a few of this musical murder mystery’s prime suspects.

The Composer is Dead book and CD is now available on pre-order. The title will be released on March 3, 2009.

For more about the elusive Lemony Snicket, visit www.lemonysnicket.com.

Interview recorded November 2008
Excerpts: The Composer is Dead; San Francisco Symphony / Edwin Outwater, Conductor; Daniel Handler, Narrator
Kronos Quartet

David Harrington (Kronos Quartet)



The Kronos Quartet’s David Harrington talks about the magic of creating new works, the groups own “Under 30” commissioning program, and what the future holds for classical music.
April 2008
Stephen Hough

Stephen Hough



Pianist Stephen Hough talks about the challenges of trying to narrow down what repertoire a professional pianist plays on the stage, and what long-term impact championing certain works can have on music history.
Feburary 2008
Imani Winds

Imani Winds



Since its formation, Imani Winds has celebrated the Latin and African American heritages of the ensemble's member musicians. The group bridges traditional wind quintet repertoire and new works, and especially like performing works that force them to step outside of their comfort zone.

Interview recorded January 2009
Vijay Iyer

Vijay Iyer



Composer and pianist Vijay Iyer talks about the traditional musical training he received at a young age on the violin, and the on-the-job training sessions he received as a self-taught improvisational jazz pianist.
February 2007
Warren Jones

Warren Jones



Pianist Warren Jones is an active teacher of collaborative performance, as well as a performer who has shared the stage with artists such as Denyce Graves and Frederica von Stade. Here he explains that it takes a lot more than a great sound to play well with others.
October 2006
Leila Josefowicz

Leila Josefowicz



Violinist Leila Josefowicz talks about her break from standard repertoire that has come to define her as an artist, and how John Adams and his music have had an impact on her own creative life.
April 2007
András Keller

András Keller



As a teenager, violinist András Keller studied with the legendary Hungarian composer György Kurtág. The experience profoundly shaped Keller's appreciation of music of all types.

Interview recorded November 2008
Evgeny Kissin

Evgeny Kissin



Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin counts a wide swath of composers among his favorites, not least among them Frédérick Chopin. Although Chopin remains central, Kissin continues to seek new composers and works to add to his repertory, and to go back and take a second look at pieces he performed more than a decade ago.

Interview recorded February 2009
David Krakauer

David Krakauer



Clarinetist David Krakauer is well-known for his inspired klezmer performances, but he began his musical journey on a much different path. It was not until a chance meeting on a crosstown bus that Krakauer took the leap from his classical conservatory training toward Klezmer Madness!

Interview recorded February 2009
David Lang

David Lang



Composer David Lang knows firsthand how difficult it can be to challenge the expectations of commissioners and audiences, but he also understands how vital making that challenge is. Here he talks about finding opportunities to create compelling new musical experiences.
October 2008
Lang Lang

Lang Lang



Pianist Lang Lang talk about his passion for classical music—a passion born from watching Saturday morning cartoons and sitting around the family piano.
June 2008
Gustavo Dudamel

Steven Ledbetter
Music and Society



Musicologist Steven Ledbetter discusses the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and the social impact of El Sistema— Venezuela’s unique system of musical
education and performance.
September 2007
Ute Lemper

Ute Lemper



The enigmatic vocal artist Ute Lemper first caught the world's ear singing lead roles in productions of musicals like Cabaret and Cats—but her true musical passion lay in the complex works of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, as well as her own original compositions.
August 2008
The Dance Project

Royston Maldoom
The Dance Project



Award-winning British choreographer Royston Maldoom talks about The Dance Project, and how Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is particularly well suited to bringing students into the world of classical music and dance.
September 2007
Béla Bartók

Gerard McBurney
Béla Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin



Gerard McBurney discusses the political and social background of The Miraculous Mandarin.
November 2006
Edgar Meyer

Edgar Meyer



Bassist and composer Edgar Meyer is well known for the ease with which he simultaneously embodies disparate musical languages. It's an approach he attributes to the flexibility of his instrument, his own natural curiosity, and the musical passions of his father.
November 2006
Nico Muhly

Nico Muhly



Nico Muhly talks about how he managed to launch an incredibly successful composing career in an exceptionally short amount of time, while striking up musical relationships with artists from across genres—Will Oldham, Björk, and Philip Glass—in the process.
December 2006
Anna Netrebko

Anna Netrebko



Soprano Anna Netrebko may be among today’s most recognizable opera stars, but when she started out no one thought she’d make it past the chorus. Here she talks about how she found the drive and confidence to do things her own way.
February 2007
New York String Orchestra

New York String Orchestra



New York String Orchestra conductor Jaime Laredo talks about the energy and swirling excitement he finds in his young players the first time they walk onto Carnegie’s stage, and orchestra alumnus and renowned violin soloist Cho-Liang Lin reminisces about the impact the program had on him as a young musician.
December 2006
Alarm Will Sound

Alan Pierson (Alarm Will Sound)



Alan Pierson, artistic director and conductor of the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, talks about the group’s high-energy and creative approach to performance.
December 2007
Thomas Quasthoff

Thomas Quasthoff



Most concertgoers know Thomas Quasthoff as the German bass-baritone with the silky lieder delivery. The three-time Grammy winner has definitely collected his share of fans for his performances of works from Bach to Mahler, but Quasthoff has another musical love—jazz.
October 2006
Sir Simon Rattle

Sir Simon Rattle



Sir Simon Rattle talks about the Berliner Philharmoniker’s educational mission and why it has become such an important part of the ensemble’s work.
October 2007
Steve Reich

Steve Reich
A Closer Look: Music for 18 Musicians



Composer Steve Reich talks about creating his seminal masterpiece Music for 18 Musicians
September 2006
David Roberston

David Robertson



“Whether conducting music that is seldom played or music that is played too often for its own good,” said the New York Times of David Roberston’s compelling musical approach, “[he] makes everything seem fresh and startling.” Here, Robertson gives the inside scoop on how he creates such critically hailed programs.
October 2006
Dorothea Röschmann

Dorothea Röschmann



Soprano Dorothea Röschmann woke up one October morning with tickets to hear her friend Thomas Quasthoff sing that night at Carnegie Hall’s opening night concert. When Quasthoff became ill, Röschmann got the call asking her to give up her seat in the audience and to take a seat on the stage.
October 2006
Roswell Rudd

Roswell Rudd



Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd often finds inspirational fuel while working with fellow musicians from around the globe, including an recent and unlikely pairing with Mongolian throat singers. But, has also makes a special musical connection with the natural environment right outside his back door.
September 2006
Gil Shaham

Gil Shaham



Violinist Gil Shaham talks about one of the greatest discoveries of his youth—the music of Johannes Brahms.
November 2006
Brentano String Quartet

Mark Steinberg (Brentano String Quartet)



Brentano String Quartet violinist Mark Steinberg talks about the personal passions and interests that guide the quartet’s members, and about their experiences in dealing with the dangers that can befall any musical group: compromise, stagnancy, and a masked burglar.
March 2008
Toru Takemitsu

Toru Takemitsu



When Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu died in 1996, his compositional credits included hundreds of works for the concert hall and the soundtracks to some 93 films. He was internationally admired for his musical talent, but he was also known for his ability to forge friendships with artists across disciplines and cultures. Peter Grilli, a longtime friend of the composer, offers this personal commentary.

Interview recorded Aug 2006
Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Jean-Yves Thibaudet



Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet explains the struggles of being typecast as a certain kind of pianist—and why winning the battle has been so important to him.

Oct 2008
Excerpt from Liszt’s Liebestraume No. 3 In A-flat Major (Nottorno No. 3); Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano. Piano Essentials. Denon Records.
Excerpt from Chopin’s Valse Brillante In A-flat Major, Op. 34, No. 1; Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano. Piano Essentials. Denon Records.
Mitsuko Uchida

Mitsuko Uchida



Fans adore pianist Mitsuko Uchida for her vast repertoire that includes Mozart, Schubert, and Schoenberg. Here, she talks about Beethoven’s effect on her development as a musician, and the time she’s been spending with the music of Hungarian composer György Kurtág.
May 2008
Dawn Upshaw

Dawn Upshaw



Soprano Dawn Upshaw talks about focusing her career on the music of living composers, why she’s drawn to staged works, and how she deals with the occasional memory slip on stage.
June 2008
Deborah Voigt

Deborah Voigt



Song recitals offer Deborah Voigt the chance to step away from the grand scale drama of the opera stage. Here the soprano talks about getting up close and personal, especially with her first audience—unsuspecting diners at a local German restaurant.
April 2007
Alisa Weilerstein

Alisa Weilerstein



Picking up her first instrument while still a toddler, Alisa Weilerstein quickly mastered the cello, and began performing professionally, while still a teen. Fueled by an innate curiosity, she keeps her ears open to a wide variety of repertoire.

Interview recorded November 2008
Excerpts: Zoltan Kodály’s Cello Sonata, Op. 8
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major