We spoke to the brilliant cellist ahead of his performance at Classic FM Live about tackling nerves, his pre-concert routine and why The Beatles is at the heart of it…
Speaking exclusively to Classic FM at the Royal College of Music, ahead of his performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Steven Isserlis shared some details of his unusual pre-concert routine.
“I listen to the Beatles before every concert,” he said, “because something about the beat gets me going.”
“I give about 100 concerts a year I would get very bored if I listened to the same Beatles songs over and over again,” he continued, “so I keep looking for ones I haven’t heard so much.
“Just the other day I discovered I hadn’t listened for years to their very first album ‘Please Please Me’. It’s got lots of songs that I really didn’t know, like ‘Misery’, which rather well describes my state of mind before most concerts!”
He also shared this piece of advice for musicians tackling their first ever concerto:
“The important thing is to remember to listen, when you’re playing a concerto, don’t think you can bring your pre-fabricated reading to the concert.”
Listen to the full clip here: