RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

15 Questions to Feargus Hetherington

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi! I’m well thanks. I am currently in Glasgow, Scotland. I live in a lovely old red sandstone building.

What’s on your schedule right now?
Right now I’m preparing to lead a performance of Schubert’s Octet. In the first half I will perform a solo violin sonata by J.S Bach. I am also involved in preparing some new compositions by young scottish-based composers, plus figuring out an arrangement of a Paganini Caprice with my guitarist colleague Matthew McAllister.

If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?

Farm in the highlands or work for developing countries perhaps?

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
Another violinist, probably the American musician James Buswell.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
The hardest part is being fully prepared musically and technically.

The best part is having your own unique ‘voice’ which is your own special medium of communication.

What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
All musical genres have to adapt. Very commercial music production and marketing is boring and tiring for young people and they are looking for more stimulation and finding it in other forms, including some of the best classical music. Classical music seems still to be played by some incredibly passionate artists and so audiences simply cannot fail to sit up and take notice.

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?

Interpretations and player’s skills are constantly evolving and revealing new things in old scores; recordings help us enjoy this creative process. Also, there is plenty of ‘contemporary classical’ music waiting to be recorded.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
A good live performance combines concentration and focus with the necessity to also engage on friendly terms with your audience - that warm, sharing feeling of being ‘in’ the music together.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?

Interpretation is the performer’s way of making his or her appreciation of a composer’s artistry heard and understood.

How do you balance the need to to put your personal emotions into the music you play and the intentions of the composer?
As a violinist, a great deal of my personal emotion can be detected in the vibrato I use (with its varying shades of speed/amplitude) and the bow stroke, (varying speed, point of contact and attack.) So although after faithfully implementing the composer’s instructions in the score, there is still always going to be a ‘personal’ response coming through in amongst all that. These days I think that it probably speaks more eloquently in tthe context of disciplined appreciation of the score.

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.

A little education helps I’m sure, but really the music usually speaks for itself. Nobody is going to love everything out there, it’s more a matter of people being patient and listening to a range of classical music then deciding what they enjoy most.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
I have huge respect for a lot of American 20th century music; I’d want to programme a song or chamber recital of music by Charles Ives (1874-1954)  with a comprehensive foyer display discussing the history of American classical music. I would also think of bringing in more composer-performers to highlight the ‘alive’ and creative nature of working.

How would you describe the relationship with your instrument?

For me, violin playing is kind of a way of life, so my instrument is always close by.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?

I play the viola well and the piano as a ‘study’ instrument when working on a score for performance etc. I can’t get a sound out of any wind instrument!!

Maelasta/ with Matthew McAllister (Natural Studio Records) 2003

Feargus Hetherington

Related articles

CD Feature/ Frevo Quartet: "Histoire du Tango"
Into places formerly deemed too ...
15 Questions to Alina Ibragimova
August and September are going ...
Janine Jansen: NDR Music Prize
Dutch violinist Janine Jansen has ...
Interview with Daniel Rowland/Brodsky Quartet
The appointment of Daniel Rowland ...
15 Questions to Frank Almond
Frank Almond sums up his ...
CD Feature/ maelasta: "st"
Unusual but híghly creative: Imagine ...
15 Questions to Aisling Agnew
One of the most prominent ...
15 Questions to Matthew McAllister
"Global" and "modern" are the ...
15 Questions to Lisa Batiashvili
Great violinists reveal themselves at ...
15 Questions to Maxim Rysanov
"My rival has arrived!" Yuri ...
Interview with Baiba Skride
So welcome to the new ...
15 Questions to Frederieke Saeijs
It may not fit the ...
15 Questions to Patricia Kopatchinskaja
She has all the qualities ...

Partner sites