JACK RIDLEY

is a British conductor and pianist, studied with Prof. Mark Stringer at the Universität f. Musik u. darstellende Kunst, Vienna.Jack made his debut with Glyndebourne Touring Opera in November 2013, conducting The Rape of Lucretia in Canterbury, having worked on it as Assistant Conductor.

 

With the conductor falling sick at the final rehearsal, Jack jumped in to conduct the work publicly for the first time at Glyndebourne since 1946, when

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the opera was premiered.  An immediate re-invitation followed, to work on La finta giardiniera in 2014.

 

Other professional engagements of note include La Clemenza di Tito at Drottningholms Slottsteater (2013) and Punch and Judy with Neue Oper Wien (2014).

 

A graduate of Oxford University, Jack was a choral scholar at Wadham College, where he revitalised the dormant music

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scene, setting up a college Orchestra. A distinguished pianist and accompanist, Jack studied with Prof. John Barstow in London.

 

In 2011, Jack reached the finals of the Hans von Bülow Klavierwettbewerb where he conducted Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in C minor from the keyboard with the Meininger Hofkapelle.

 



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Homepage:

 

www.jackridley.com

With which composer would you like to go for a coffee?/ Which composer would you have liked to go for a coffee with?

 

Probably Liszt – he was such a champion of music and of composers who weren’t necessarily very fashionable, and as a composer and performer himself he really broke new ground.  Bernstein, perhaps, as well – I reckon he’d be a good one for anecdotes.  Of living composers, Birtwistle would be pretty high up on my list, not least because I’m working on an opera of his in the spring, and he could give me some extra insight into it!

 

 

 

Where would you most like to perform?

 

Obviously there is huge prestige attached to performing in certain concert halls or theatres: I would love to conduct at the Royal Albert Hall because the BBC Proms Festival was such a big part of my childhood.  But I’m also interested in performing in more unusual spaces – places where people wouldn’t necessarily expect classical music to be performed, such that it reaches more people, and is released from the concert hall where it is framed as an “event”, rather than simply something which is part of everyday life.  I think that if concert producers were willing to take more risks with venues, it could go a long way towards shedding the stuffy connotations which are sometimes associated with classical music.

 

 

With whom would you ideally like to collaborate?

 

I love collaborating with friends – like with the Valsassina – because nothing is off-limit and there  is an innate trust, which really allows you so much freedom.  So far I’ve not had any problems with any musicians that I have worked with, and I’ve had huge fortune to work with some fantastically talented people, all of whom I would love to work with again.  There are lots of contemporaries of mine, both in Vienna and London, with whom I have not worked yet, so I hope that can be rectified. Of “star names”, Daniel Barenboim would probably be top of my list, but I have an almost endless list of artists who I have grown up in awe of, and with whom it would be a dream to make music.

 

 

What was your finest moment on stage?

 

Technically in the pit, rather than on the stage, but conducting The Rape of Lucretia with Glyndebourne Touring Opera – both on the main stage at Glyndebourne in the dress rehearsal and on tour in Canterbury – was very special for me.  Also at university, I conducted a performance of Haydn’s Nelsonmesse, which wasn’t of a remarkably high standard, but which used soloists, singers and players all from my college, both staff and students, and was a really historic and cohesive event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which work would you like to conduct?

 

There are so many that it’s lucky that I have the rest of my life to work on them!  High on my list is Britten’s The Turn of the Screw; symphonically I absolutely adore Shostakovich Symphony No. 7 (so much so that I’ve lost any critical capacity towards it), so that would be well up there too.  Tristan und Isolde deserves a mention too, but I think it will be a long time before I’m ready for it...

 

 

 

 

 

Can music change the world?

I think that anyone who is touched by music is necessarily changed by it, so of course yes – music is constantly changing the world, only if a little bit at a time.  I find it very inspiring that because music is a fundamentally good thing, it tends to change the world for the better, and there are great examples of it doing just that in very significant ways, from the strength which artists like Bob Dylan added to the civil rights movement in the USA, to El Sistema in Venezuela, which has had a huge social impact in addition to its artistic one.  It would be naive, however, to hope that music is the answer to all our problems; as much as I would like to believe it that it could, music alone isn’t going to end world poverty or stop climate change.  It’s important too for musicians not to lose perspective of the bigger picture.

Contact:.

The Valsassina Ensemble Vienna -  www.valsassina-ensemble.comImprint

Directory Board:

León de Castillo, Slavisa Zezelj, Florian Moser, Max Smirzitz

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