Music in the Round


An interview with Ensemble 360 pianist, Tim Horton

23rd Sep 2017 13:59
An interview with Ensemble 360 pianist, Tim Horton

Can you name a piece of music that puts you in a really good mood?

The whole point of the best music we play is that it’s not about one emotion at a time. That’s why great music is great music. We need this music as human beings because it gets to those places that aren’t possible to quantify. 

What do you love about Sheffield?

It was a very friendly place to live. I think it’s a city where they’ve really done it well. They’ve rebuilt it very well. But the centre of Sheffield is very individual. And it’s just a very friendly place to be.

Can you tell us something we don’t know about you?

I’m tempted to ask my wife! I don’t know… I have a great love of Monty Python.

What do you love about playing about the Crucible Studio?

First of all the audience. There’s no feeling of ‘them and us’ in the Crucible. It is terrifying, initially at least.

It took a while to get used to because people are right on top of you. But, you do get the strong feeling that people are really listening very well and that you are sharing it very much with those people.

Tell us about your cycle of Schubert works

I’m starting a Schubert cycle in December and that’s very exciting for me. I’ve always found Schubert incredibly difficult and I’ve been very daunted by his work. I feel like I’m now at a stage where I feel like I’ve got something to say. 

Why are Schubert's works different?

Schubert is very difficult to play because in a way it is idealistic music. It’s not written with the performer in mind. Beethoven writes his sonatas as a great pianist, so he knows how the piano works. Schubert wasn’t a great pianist and didn’t think ‘let’s make that feel good for the pianist’. 

How do you approach Schubert's works?

It’s incredibly physically difficult. So you make the technical difficulty into a musical difficulty.  Instead of approaching it from overcoming a technical or physical problem, you think for yourself what that phrase means and that’s the way of overcoming the technical difficulties. And with Schubert I now feel like I’m there.

What are you looking forward to in the Spring Season?

We’re doing the Debussy and Ravel festival, which we’ve hoped to do for a long time. We needed a harpist as well so we have Catrin Finch joining us and we’re able to finally do it. I’m looking forward to that because that’s all very very good music indeed.

And other than that I’m doing more Schubert, which is good!!

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