Principal Player Focus: John Constable

John Constable, the London Sinfonietta’s Principal pianist and YouTube clip enthusiast is March’s featured Principal player.


When did you realise you wanted a career in music?

John Constable, London Sinfonietta Principal pianist

At school.  All I ever wanted to do was to play the piano and listen to music.

 What was the first recording you bought?

I don’t remember the first recording I bought myself but I well remember two that I was given by my parents; Artur Schnabel playing Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto and Victoria de los Angeles singing The Maiden and the Nightingale by Granados.

 What piece of new music changed you?

The Whale by John Tavener, the first piece I played with the London Sinfonietta which started me on this fantastic journey with my marvellous colleagues.

 What piece of music brings a smile to your face when you see it on your music stand?

Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

 What has been your favourite London Sinfonietta experience?

There have been so many marvellous experiences that it is impossible to pick just one! I suppose it has to be a tie between our first ever tour of Europe with Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio and David Atherton and our performances of the Quartet for the End of Time in the Italian Chapel on Orkney in a building built by Italian prisoners of war and so close to Scapa Flow.

 What is perfection?

Something which every performer aspires to but knows they well never reach.  There is always something more one could have done with the music.

 What is your most valued posession?

Something which is not a posession at all. My family.

 And finally, which London Sinfonietta concert are you most looking forward to in 2012?

It has to be In Portrait: Harrison Birtwistle on 24 May.  Harrison Birtwistle has been such a central part of our concert giving from very early days and the concert will be conducted by David Atherton, our founder!

John’s next performance with the London Sinfonietta will be on Friday 23 March in Glasgow where we’ll be perfoming a double-bill as part of the Minimal Extreme Festival.  Click here for more details.

To receive John’s monthly YouTube recommendation, sign up for the London Sinfonietta e-zine.

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