Discovery and rediscovery

German concert pianist and conductor Lars Vogt, who becomes music director of the Royal Northern Sinfonia in September, describes to Ian Wylie his “endless, beautiful journey”

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I’m not from a musical background and there wasn’t much classical music in our house, so I can relate to people who haven’t yet found access to classical music. But I had a wonderful piano teacher who took me on a journey of discovery in the world of classical music, introducing me to pianists, and taking me to concerts by interesting artists, explaining that this was as important as my lessons.

At the time I thought she was exaggerating, but now I see how important it was. Sometimes I’d sit in concert and be bored, but it takes time. Suddenly you find once piece that you enjoy, and then another, like islands in the sea. And then eventually, all this land connects. Even now, there is so much music for me waiting to discover – it’s an endless, beautiful journey.

When I play or hear a work by a composer whose life I know well, I’m curious about what places their lives were in at the time they wrote it. In late-period Schubert, how much was he impacted by his illness, or how much did madness influence the music of Schumann, who died in a psychiatric hospital?


Read the full version in The Northern Correspondent #4

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