Meet Joana Carneiro
These concerts (Bedford and London) are your debut performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra. How do you approach working with an orchestra for the first time?
It is a very special feeling, to make music for the first time with an orchestra, and I feel that very deeply about our week together in December. I have known the Philharmonia Orchestra over the years; I am a huge admirer of their music making, programming and central role in the advancement of our art form. So, my inspiration comes from that deep respect for the musicians and the beautiful music we will be fortunate to share. I am approaching it by focusing as much as possible on my musical preparation.
Anna Clyne’s piece This Midnight Hour is inspired by two poems. Do you like to explore this kind of background material when you decide how to interpret a piece, or does the score tell you everything you need to know?
Learning a score ignites so many questions in our minds and souls. Some answers we find in the score – by reading and re-reading the musical text – and so many others in trying to understand the imagination of the composer when they were writing the piece in question. Therefore, I would say that it is really important to understand the background material as much as possible when learning any piece.
Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra gives every member of the orchestra a moment in the spotlight – do you have a favourite instrument, or a favourite moment in this piece?
I do not have a favourite instrument, although I must admit I have a very soft spot for the viola as it was the first instrument I learned as a child. To choose a movement in the piece is also very difficult; it really depends on the day, but if I had to choose one, it would be the fourth.
What music do you enjoy when you’re not working?
I listen to all kinds of music – often it’s the specific songs my children might be learning or enjoying at the time (the songs from Frozen, Encanto, etc…)!
What do you like best about spending time in the UK?
The culture and the people. For me, when I’m in the UK, there is always a sense of being in the centre of the world, where anything is possible, where we find people from everywhere. It is a constant source of inspiration and joy.
What other concerts in the Philharmonia’s London season would you recommend?
I would mention Esa-Pekka Salonen’s return in March and both Stravinsky concerts with Santtu-Matias Rouvali in May.
“I have known the Philharmonia Orchestra over the years; I am a huge admirer of their music making, programming and central role in the advancement of our art form.”
Joana Carneiro conducts the Philharmonia in Bedford on Wednesday 30 November and London on Thursday 1 December.