Classical Music has always been around in my life. It has been running in the family for a few generations. I have very fond memories of going through the vinyl collection of classical music as well as the stacks of sheet music that we inherited from my great-grandfather.
My very first opera visit was to see Peter and the Wolf – I still remember scenes from it to this day. Just a few years later my parents took me to see The Magic Flute – to this day I have a special connection to this opera. My parents always used to laugh at me trying to sing the arias of the Queen of the Night – the full score of The Magic Flute was the first orchestral score I ever got. I also count myself very lucky to have gotten to know one of the Grand Dames of the German Opera from back in the 1960s and 70s. My grandparents met her some 20odd years ago on a retreat in the Czech Republic and ever since we have spent time with her in Berlin and she has come to visit our family as well. Whilst I always used to be jealous of my grandparents getting to go to all those fantastic operas and then having dinner with either some of the musicians or the singers afterwards, thanks to this special connection, I can now tell them my stories of going to the Opera Houses around the world. It was so sweet when I told them about Glyndebourne – and my gran was saying – ohhh – I’ve seen that on TV – that’s where they all dress up – that is where you went? Wow!
There is something utterly fascinating about the power of this art form – so universal, simple, yet so intimidating and enchanting. Thanks to being able to play and sing, and therefore read music as well, there is an even stronger bond between the music and me. Though it can also be a curse – when I go to hear pieces I am obsessed with I am quite likely to be nitpicking on tiny little mistakes and I will be quite likely to hear if something is not quite right. I will never forget sitting through all 5 Prokofiev Piano Concertos at the Proms in 2015 and holding on to my seat for dear life wishing for the orchestra to get to the end of Concerto No1 and No2 together! The ladies next to me were blissfully unaware of the muddling through that was going on on stage…
Over the last few years there has also been a change in making classical music more accessible for younger audiences with student schemes as well as under 30s schemes. This is such a great concept and well worth looking into and signing up for – even if you don’t live in this particular city – you never know when you will find yourself there!
Well, enough of the bla bla – come along with me on my journey through the emotions that only classical music can cause in you.