Follow-up Interview with Karen Geoghegan: March 2009 by Carla Rees
Original Interview May 2008

CR:   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! [review CR] [review 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!




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