Friday 7 June 2019

Music Plus Podcast: classical music and issues

Classical Music Podcast
Discussion of classical music tends to skirt away from political issues. The issues are there, certainly, and sometimes rear their heads only to disappear again, but we seem to have no consistent discussion about music, culture and wider issues, whether they be politics, race, gender, sexuality or more.

Now the Music Plus has been launched, in which different musicians talk about themselves and the issues they are involved in, with Christopher Gunness. Current podcasts include Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero talking about the ongoing political crisis in her own country, something that Montero continues to address in her own music making, conductor Mark Wigglesworth talking not only about conducting but Brexit and the challenges of a career in the musc industry, and double bass player Chi-Chi Nwanoku on the government's current disastrous policies on musical education in schools and the lack of diversity in the classical music industry.

Whilst the podcasts are issue-led, they are about people as well. Musicians are often involved in issues because of who they are or because of things that have happened to them, and Gunness is an engaging interviewer so that we enjoy and are engage in the narrative of the interviewees journey.

Other interviewees include Julian Lloyd-Webber on universal music education, Nicholas McCarthy (the concert pianist born without a right hand) on disability and stigma, and James Rose (the world's first professional conductor with cerebral palsy) whilst planned is Cayenna Ponchione Bailey, who recently brought the Afghan Women's Orchestra to the UK.

Gunness, himself, has an interesting background. Originally a music journalist at the BBC, he has worked in the Middle-East for UN doing rights-based public advocacy. He created the Music Plus podcast because for years he saw the world of pop music campaigning for all sorts of issues (right back to Live Aid), yet there was nothing comparable in classical music.

Music  Plus is available on Spotify and on iTunes.

You can also see the complete list of podcasts on the Classical Music magazine website.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for this review Robert. And if anyone has any questions about any of the issues raised in Music Plus, please send them on to me. My email address is Best, Chris


Popular Posts this month