Arts interviews

Interview: Ron Moody

By Michael Freedland, December 22, 2010

Every journalist hopes he can make predictions that, eventually, come true. Remarkably, as it may now appear, I made one in my first month as a junior reporter. I was sent to review a production by an amateur dramatic group in a Luton school hall. What I wrote was a few simple sentences: "The best performance of the evening came from a man who should think of becoming a professional. If he does, he's going to go places. His name, Ron Moody."

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Interview: Carl Davis

By Jessica Duchen, December 22, 2010

Carl Davis has spent the past half-century specialising mainly in music for film and television, creating characterful and beautiful scores that often have helped to carry the movies they enhance to legendary status.

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Interview: Elliott Gould

By Barbra Paskin, December 16, 2010

Elliott Gould is on a roll. It is a warm Shabbat afternoon and he is relaxing in his modest apartment in Brentwood, Los Angeles and expounding on his favourite subject - the meaning of life.

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Interview: Michael Codron

By John Nathan, December 9, 2010

A warning goes out to those visiting Michael Codron. To get to London's longest-serving producer, whose office sits at the very top of the Aldwych Theatre, you have to climb the kind of spiralling stairway that takes you to the top of castles or to the bottom of Tube stations. There are enough steps to take you past many of the framed posters that publicised some of the 200 shows that Codron has put on since he started producing in 1956.

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Interview: Gerry Fox

By Julia Weiner, December 2, 2010

ITV's decision to drop The South Bank Show earlier this year was greeted with dismay by arts lovers who worried that British TV was in danger of becoming a culture-free zone. The good news is that the strand is to be revived on a satellite channel next year. The even better news is that fans can relive some of its greatest moments with a show at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

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Interview: Robert Cohen

By Jessica Duchen, November 26, 2010

Many of us might be tempted to throw a party for our 50th birthday, but not Robert Cohen. The celebrated British cellist had a better idea - he asked the composer, Sally Beamish, to write him a new work.

It is a concerto, entitled The Song Gatherer, that draws inspiration directly from Cohen's Polish and South African Jewish family background. The substantial half-hour piece was a co-commission between the Minnesota Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, where Cohen will give its UK premiere on December 2.

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Interview: Nikolaj Znaider

By Jessica Duchen, November 23, 2010

Some musicians are content to tour the globe repeatedly performing the same handful of concertos. And then there is Nikolaj Znaider.

The 35-year-old, Danish-born violinist has everything a top international soloist could desire - phenomenal technique, fine-honed musicality, good looks, charisma and a Guarneri del Gesù violin that once belonged to the great Fritz Kreisler..

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Interview: Jenny Lewis

By Elisa Bray, November 18, 2010

Jenny Lewis has had a few incarnations. Starting off as a child actress, she appeared in dozens of teen movies. She moved onto music and earned the title "princess" of indie-rock as frontwoman of the critically acclaimed band Rilo Kiley, before becoming a solo musician. Now, she has teamed up with her boyfriend, the singer-songwriter Johnathan Rice, to release a record under the does-what-it-says-on-tin name of Jenny and Johnny. Not that she had planned any of it.

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Interview: Mike Leigh

By Stephen Applebaum, November 4, 2010

So much dust was kicked up by Mike Leigh's recent decision to cancel a cultural visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank that it almost obscured the fact that the outspoken veteran of stage and cinema has a new film out this week - and arguably one of his best, at that.

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Interview: Evgeny Kissin

By Stephen Pollard, November 1, 2010

For Evgeny Kissin, the piano is no longer the only means of communication. Renowned worldwide since performing both Chopin concertos as a 12 year old, Kissin has always avoided politics and controversy. Unlike musicians such as Daniel Barenboim, Kissin has stuck to his artistry.

But he has decided that "as a Jew" he must now change that. "After all this time of anti-Israel hysteria, I felt that I had to raise my voice." He dipped his toe in the water earlier this year with an open letter to the BBC about its coverage.

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