Developed over five years and first performed in Europe in 2013, we give the UK premiere of Enno Poppe’s landmark piece Speicher on Thursday 10 March at The Coronet Theatre. This adventure in active listening is conducted by the world renowned Susanna Mälkki, who faced our quickfire questions.


What do you regard as your greatest artistic achievement?
Seeing so many happy composers after the performances of their works!

What do you fear?
Didn’t you know that conductors are fearless?

Which piece of music has had the biggest effect on you?
Impossible question. Depends on what age you are when you hear the music for the first time too. Schubert’s Quintet?

What’s the most unusual performance you’ve been a part of?
I sang as soloist with a tango band!

What’s currently on your coffee table at home?
Muriel Barbery’s La vie des elfes.

What was the first recording you ever bought?
Not sure, I think it was the Debussy / Ravel string quartets with the Alban Berg Quartet or Led Zeppelin IV.

Describe yourself in three words.
An idealist, self-critical and sincere.

If you could have any other profession, what would it be?
I’d love to work with children, one way or another.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
I wish I had the obvious answer, but… I have been very impressed and inspired by many artists, and my best teachers have been those who wouldn’t want me to depend on their influence.

Tell us your best musical joke.
A musician comes back to work in his own orchestra after having just conducted them. His colleague is delighted to see him: “Oh how great to see you, how are you? Where have you been?”

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