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15 Questions to Alex Routledge

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Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I’m very well, thankyou. I’m currently at home in High Wycombe, UK.

What’s on your schedule right now?
I’m recording some new tracks for a Christmas release. I’ve been writing a couple of new pieces which are almost ready.

If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?
I always wanted to become a journalist when I was younger.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
Several artists, some classical and some not: The Beatles, Queen, Chopin and Beethoven to name a few.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
The hardest part can be the travelling and bad reviews. But of course the best part is being able to what you enjoy. There’s nothing like the feeling of seeing an audience in awe of what you’re doing.

What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
I don’t think there is a crisis but classical music is clearly not as popular as it once was. I believe there are several new artists coming up though and the quality is very good. I think we can expect to see a resurgence of interest in classical music, in the same way as has happened with jazz music recently.

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?
I think there’s always a need to record music if the performer is able to add something unique to a piece. The public will always have an interest in music that’s played and recorded well regardless of when it was composed. However, for me personally, my interests lie in recording new material.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
I think a good performance is about much more than just the music. An artist needs to be able to communicate with the audience on all levels.
People relate to music in different ways and a live performance should be a show, where the audience feel part of what you’re doing.
It’s a mixture of musical ability and charisma.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
Interpretation means taking a piece and making it your own. You need to add something unique to it and often this can mean playing it in a different style or trying a different arrangement of it. I often try classical versions of pop or rock songs and in the same way sometimes try out piano arrangements of string pieces.

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.
Yes – true. There’s so much good music out there that any artist needs to let their emotions come out in the music. I think this is what separates a good artist from a great artist.

True or false: “Music is my first love”
Yes – definitely.

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
I don’t think it’s necessary to be educated about any kind of music in order to appreciate or enjoy it. However, with classical music it’s also true that the more you know about it the more you will appreciate it. I think that’s generally true of most non-commercial music.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
I would opt for piano works by Mozart and Beethoven.

What’s your favourite classical CD at the moment?
Recently, I’ve been listening to Chopin’s nocturnes.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
Yes – I also play the guitar and bass. I’m more than competent on them but the piano is my main instrument.

Homepage: Alex Routledge

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