Orchestra members talk about getting intimate with new audiences

Amanda Anderson
Künstlerfoto Malte Refardt

NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover perform at Symphony Hall on Saturday 25 November 2017 at 7:30pm. It’s a concert of many faces; beginning deep in shadow with Beethoven’s Egmont overture before moving to sunlit jubilation with Brahms’ Second Symphony. Two orchestra members, cellist Amanda Anderson and Principal bassoonist Prof. Malte Refardt, reveal more about this exciting programme and their hopes for the concert… 

What does performing at Birmingham Symphony Hall mean for you?

Prof. Malte Refardt: Touring with the NDR Radiophilharmonie and Andrew Manze is always special and no tour is like the other. Playing concerts in new halls with different acoustics, rather than at home, is always challenging for an orchestra, Andrew Manze adopts his conducting and the way he understands the score during the concert to the certain acoustic surroundings of each hall. As Birmingham is really famous for its concert hall with a great acoustic I am really looking forward to playing there! It will truly be an exciting experience.

Amanda Anderson: Going on tour is something I always look forward to, especially when it entails performing at a world-class hall. It's an opportunity to discover something new and to share an intimate experience with fellow orchestra members and a new audience. I am particularly looking forward to performing in Birmingham with Igor Levit and Andrew Manze.

Going on tour is something I always look forward to, especially when it entails performing at a world-class hall

What can audiences expect to see and hear on Saturday 25th November? Tell us about the programme.

Amanda Anderson: The audience can expect to experience an active, lively orchestra performing a traditional classical programme - overture, piano concerto and symphony from two of the Three Bs: Beethoven and Brahms. Andrew Manze's contagious energy will surely be felt throughout the hall. 

Prof. Malte Refardt: Andrew Manze’s approach to the big classic and romantic repertoire isn’t comparable to anybody else as Manze grew up with the sound of the historical performance practice and now is fully-established with “modern“ orchestras. Together with the NDR Radiophilharmonie he found a new sound that tries to combine the qualities of both worlds. With the freshness of music-making, the well-balanced sound of Johannes Brahms, the pulsating, stroking beats of Ludwig van Beethoven, the outstanding soloist –one of the greatest of his age- this concert will be something you shouldn’t miss!

What are some of the most important lessons you seek to pass on to your audiences?

Amanda Anderson: I hope the audience feels invited to take part in the fantastical world of classical music and is able to feel the emotion transmitted by the musicians on stage.

Prof. Malte RefardtFor me personally: to make music with friends and to share what I love with the audience. To show the vivid freshness that a composer like Beethoven still has nowadays - and to share the beauty of Brahms’ well-structured sound paintings which often seem to me as a mixture of North-German November fog with delightful Viennese sweetness.

As a member of NDR Radiophilarmonie are there performances or moments that stand out in your memory for their significance? Could you tell us what made these performances particularly special for you?

Prof. Malte Refardt: To play in the crystal-clear acoustic of the sold-out National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing/China in 2016 together with such a giant at the piano like Sir Andras Schiff has certainly been a milestone for the NDR Radiophilharmonie with Andrew Manze in the recent past.

But moreover, the annual opera performances of the NDR Radiophilharmonie at the back of Hannover’s beautiful town hall are an outstanding experience: more than 35’000 listeners gather together on blankets in the park on beautiful summer evenings and listen to romantic operas from composers like Puccini and Verdi. This event is always broadcasted live by TV and Internet and reaches nearly 1 million viewers worldwide. It definitely shows that classical music is up-to-date and something that reaches people’s hearts like nothing else!

Prof. Malte Refardt, Principal Bassoonist with the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Hannover

Amanda Anderson, Cellist with the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Hannover