The oboe is the hardest instrument to play, so what drew the young virtuoso Alexei Ogrintchouk to it? "My parents took me to a lot of concerts in Moscow when I was young, and I was always fascinated by its sound. I loved its purity and naturalness."
Was he born with strong lungs? "I don't know, but it has certainly helped me to develop them. I did a routine lung test in a Moscow hospital when I was 18, and the doctors came out open-eyed, saying my capacity was right off the graph."
Tonight at London's Barbican he will premiere a new oboe concerto written for him by the French composer Marc-André Dalbavie with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. "It's a very testing piece, a great personal challenge. And as there are so few new works in the oboe repertoire, it will be a big event for the oboe world, too."
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies