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Alexander Nicholls cellist

I know well that Music was created to speak to the heart of man, and I would like to accomplish this if I can. Music without affects and passions is meaningless; and so it follows that a composer achieves nothing without the performers. They should be well disposed towards the author and should sense in their heart what the composer has written. They should then come together, rehearse, analyse the music and finally study the mind of the composer before performing the works. They will then receive almost more praise than the composer, or at least will share in the glory with him, and while it is agreeable to hear: ‘What a beautiful composition’, it would be equally agreeable to hear: ‘And how beautifully they have performed the piece’.  

Luigi Boccherini: 8 July 1799

This beautiful quote from my musical hero, Luigi Boccherini (1743–1805), really sums up what I strive for in my preparations and performance of music. My vision is to understand the composer, engage in thoughtful rehearsal, analyse and understand compositional perspective, and combine of all this information to present what the composer intended the audience to experience.

My practice of historically informed music is driven by my love and fascination of history, and its connection and relevance to understanding the human condition, not only of that time, but also of the present—they are intrinsically connected.

History for me is an invaluable resource: from it we can gather all the lessons we need to understand and navigate the intricacies of life. I believe two of the most important lessons from the past, and those that drive me in my daily pursuits, are the notions and actions of great heroism and sacrifice. For history shows us that if you strive for important feats and actions in the pursuit of a great cause, anything is possible.

There are two ways that I find these lessons in the world of music: firstly bibliographically—through composers’ lives, their strength and courage which they maintained as artists throughout the centuries, and secondly through the music they created—a music that was not a representation of the composers themselves, but of the ideal—an elevation of any subject through beauty, providing the listener with an empathetic reassurance.

I feel it is my purpose to bring these important messages of consolation and conformation into the present through scholarly performances and writing.

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