Issue 28: As Big as it Gets

(Photo: Frank Albrecht)

Welcome. For a while I have been hoping to publish an issue on one of the most famous warhorses in the theatre repertoire: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. It was the composer’s final ballet (premiered in 1891) and before Christmas I was lucky to be given the chance to speak to two former Constance Lambert Fellows about their work on the Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet Nutcracker productions. They were both choreographed by Sir Peter Wright, but performed in different venues with slight variations. It has been a number of years since I had the opportunity to discuss the same piece with two different conductors, so to be able to do that with such a perennial favourite was an opportunity I relished.

The first interviewee featured is the German conductor Thomas Jung. He studied at the Hochschule für Musik, Cologne and King’s College, Cambridge. Thomas was appointed as the inaugural Constant Lambert Conducting Fellow at the Royal Opera House back in 2018 and is now conducting for The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet. He has worked with (among others) the conductors Bernard Haitink and Benjamin Zander.  The second interviewee is the French-Italian conductor Charlotte Politi. She studied in Italy, Germany (at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe) and in the United States (at the University of Michigan). Charlotte is currently the London Philharmonic Orchestra Fellow Conductor and Constant Lambert Associate with the Royal Ballet – she moved to the UK in 2021 to start the fellowship.

And finally, last year I wrote an in-depth review of the movie TÁR that was published in Issue 25 (July 2023). I feel thoroughly spoilt to be able to review another Oscar-nominated film on my research subject: Maestro. The film was released on Netflix just before Christmas, but as with the TÁR review I decided to take the time to write a more detailed piece in contrast to the more hastily written responses by the critics. I hope I don’t have too long to wait until another film on this subject comes out – I could get used to this!

As ever, huge thanks to Thomas and Charlotte and I hope you enjoy the issue.

Dr. Hannah Baxter (Editor)