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January 6, 2015
Jessica was interviewed by Nicola Smock for the first edition of the new Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Magazine.
Here's a taster:
What advice would you give to this year’s newest alumni?
I think our society tends to squeeze lemons a bit too early. Take all the time you need to develop; intellectually, culturally, philosophically and personally, and allow time to really think about what you do. Music is about living, the philosophy of life. It can’t be rushed and you can’t bluff it.
What changes would you like to see in your industry?
Female conductors are still rare enough to be a protected species, and I’d like to see that change. It really shouldn’t matter whether a great conductor is male or female and - in my opinion - there is absolutely no reason why a female can’t be chief conductor of, say, the LSO, the Concertgebouw, or the Berlin Philharmonic. Things are changing, but we are by no means on equal footing yet.
We are custodians of a wonderfully rich collection of artistic achievement. In this world, where the live arts are increasingly more and more undermined, I really believe that we have a duty to society around us to help people of all ages and all backgrounds engage with classical music. It’s important as it helps us understand humanity and that there are infinite ways of being. Proust was right when he wrote that through art alone are we able to get outside ourselves and begin to know how other people see the world.