Follow-up Interview with Karen Geoghegan: March 2009
by Carla Rees
Interview May 2008
How are you balancing your studies at the Royal Academy with external work?
KG: It can be very difficult finding the time for both,
but the Academy are very supportive in this respect. They are
able to plan your programme of study around external engagements.
There are many students in the same position as I am, and I
think they're fine with it because they love to see their students
doing well and getting into the profession. I think it's
so important to continue my studies, and much of what I'm doing
at the Academy ties in well with external engagements in terms
of repertoire. (For example, learning repertoire for exams
etc). I really thrive on the environment in the Academy.
I love playing in the orchestras, and even enjoy the academic
classes! I wouldn't want to give up any of this. It keeps
me busy balancing the two, but I'd much rather be busy than
have nothing to do!
CR: How has your debut disc been selling and what were the
reactions to it?
KG: I've had such positive reactions to the disc!
JQ] I was just so grateful for being given the opportunity
to do it that I didn't really stop to think about how it would
be received. Obviously the link with Classical Star has
been a huge help, but I think also the mix of repertoire on
it has been very appealing. Especially having Summertime
as an encore. I think it's really made people aware of the bassoon
as a solo instrument, and I hope to continue to promote this
with more repertoire. I think it's selling well, especially
for a woodwind CD.
CR: Can you tell us something about the piece you play on
the Wolf-Ferrari disc?
KG: The Suite Concertino for Bassoon, two horn
and strings is, in my opinion, quite a unique concerto. It's
so different from any other concerto I've played. There are
no virtuosic scale passages or leaps from one extreme to the
other. The difficulty for the player and the beauty for
the listener are in its simplicity. It's so simple yet so lyric
al and expressive. Apart from the second movement, which
could be classed as the typical bassoon-character, the other
movements are really not what you would expect from a bassoon
concerto, but it works so well. Wolf-Ferrari is a very
under-rated composer, but I think his music is so beautiful. [review]
CR: How is your concert career developing?
KG: I've had some really great concerts as a result
of the CD and Classical Star. Although I didn't agree with a
lot of things about it, Classical Star was a great experience
which has lead onto so many fantastic opportunities. Quite
often myself and Sophie (winner of Classical Star) get asked
to do concerts together=2 0which is really nice as we're actually
really good friends! We both went on tour to Ireland over summer
as soloists with the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra which was great.
I was also invited to perform with the BBC Scottish Symphony
Orchestra last year, and have performances coming up with the
BBC Philharmonic and Scottish Opera. As a bassoonist I'm
so grateful for these opportunities as they usually don't come
around very often. But I'm so happy to be promoting the instrument!
CR: What are you looking forward to most in the next year?
KG: I have several things lined up for the next year which I'm looking
forward to. This summer I'm giving a recital as part of the
International Double Reed Society Conference which is a conference
dedicated to promoting the oboe and bassoon, so obviously this
is a fantastic opportunity to perform amongst other bassoon
soloists from Europe and America. I'm also performing with the
BBC Philharmonic in August which I'm very much looking forward
to, having just worked with them on the Wolf-Ferrari disc. And
then of course I have my final recital at Academy!