Quincy Jones for the Philharmonic Orchestra - an interview with the master

NEWS | 12-10-2018
What inspired him when composing a piece dedicated to the Orchestra? What does he think about Polish composers? What does he wish the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra for its 70th anniversary? Quincy Jones answers our questions and talks about the "musical greeting card" he sends to Szczecin.

 
For the Orchestra, these seventy years have been a time of continuous development, cooperation with excellent conductors and soloists, creating unusual and often surprising projects. On the occasion of this birthday, the Orchestra will showcase their performative skills at their best in a concert on October 19th, 2018. The program includes the symphonic poem "Eternal Songs" Op. 10 by Mieczysław Karłowicz and "The Rite of Spring" by Igor Stravinsky. The icing on the cake will be the world premiere of a song written especially for the 70th anniversary of the Orchestra by Quincy Jones!

The 27-time Grammy Award winner has this time composed a piece dedicated to the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. This composition by one of the best specialists will bring together the two worlds of classical and avant-garde music.

Quincy Jones
found a moment to answer some questions about the work on the piece he dedicated to the Orchestra and where he drew inspiration from.

Szczecin Philharmonic: How did your education, and especially the education you had received from Nadia Boulanger, influence your creativity and your career?
Quincy Jones: It's all about the soul and the science. You need to work on both, and I'm grateful for my teachers such as Nadia Boulanger who provided me with a foundation that has carried me through my entire career. She taught me about counterpoint, retrograde inversion, you name it. She was also the one who told me that us jazz guys "shack up with music first, and court it and marry it later," so she made sure I had my left brain right from the start. Being able to know the math and science behind music has served me well, because in order to break the rules, you've got to understand them. And I truly believe that if I didn't understand how music works, I wouldn't have been able to create much of what I've created over the last six decades.

SP: How does your artistic idea and vision, as a composer, translate into the final effect of the compositions, that is, a live performance? Are performers playing your pieces always able to present your vision of a given composition?
QJ: I always create what gives me goosebumps, because I know if I have that type of reaction, I know at least one other person on the planet will feel the same! You can't control who is going to like your work, but you can control what you put out there, and your vision for how you want it to sound. When you create, you have to keep in mind the fact that you are not writing for one specific format; you have to know that different performers will interpret your pieces differently, so your job as the composer is simply to create a good song.

SP: What was your inspiration when writing the piece for the Philharmonic in Szczecin?
QJ: Penderecki! Even though we are the same age, he has been one of my biggest inspirations of all-time and it absolutely makes my soul smile to have been able to work on this piece. It was truly a full circle moment because I've looked up to him for many, many years, and having this opportunity was all of the inspiration I needed.

SP: Have any Polish composers, especially your contemporary Krzysztof Penderecki, had any influence on your work or have they been an inspiration when writing some compositions?
QJ: Absolutely. Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Górecki, you name it. Poland does not play! It's all about melody and rhythm: two things they've got under control!

SP: What advice would you give to young musicians at the beginning of their professional careers? What should they remember? What should young musicians / composers know when entering the world of music?
QJ: Musical principles exist for a reason, and you've got to really do the research to know why. It's not enough to take someone's word for it because you have to dig deep and figure it out for yourself. Many times musicians get stuck in one spot because they haven’t done their homework with the left brain. Music is emotion and science. You don’t really need to practice emotion because that comes naturally, but the left side is all about the practice. I say this all of the time, but only because it's important. Technique is a science, and if you can’t get your finger between three and four and seven and eight on a piano, you can’t play! You can only get so far without technique and knowledge of the craft, so if you put in the work to back it up, you will be more than ok. It's also important to have faith in your abilities and if you can see it you can be it. Even more importantly, always have humility with your creativity and grace with your success.

SP: What do you wish the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra on the occasion of its 70th anniversary?
QJ: All the best! Truly. The last two things to leave this planet will be water and music, and the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra sure knows how to make music! Congratulations on such a momentous occasion, and I can't wait to celebrate 70 more years with you!

 
VIDEOS AND PHOTOS
April 2019
01APRmn, 10:00
Droga do Oza School concert dla klas IV-VIII
01APRmn, 12:00
Droga do Oza School concert dla klas IV-VIII
02APRtu, 19:00
INTERMEZZO 2018/2019Straight from Szczecin | Michał FrancuzChamber Concert
04APRth, 19:00
SOUNDLAB 2018/2019Shiva Feshareki | Lab 7: El-vinylelectronic music concert
05APRfr, 13:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
05APRfr, 14:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmonii w języku angielskimsight-seeing the Philharmonic
05APRfr, 15:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
05APRfr, 19:00
SONORO 2018/2019Mozart | Haydn Symphonic concert
07APRsn, 17:00
Czy mnie jeszcze pamiętasz? Seniorita w FilharmoniiFamily concertfor children aged 6+ with guardians
07APRsn, 17:00
Salonik Wiolinowy, czyli dziecko pod skrzydłami FilharmoniiWorkshops for children aged 3–6 years, without the participation of carers
09APRtu, 09:00
DoNuta taktuje – W trasiekoncert wyjazdowydla przedszkoli
09APRtu, 11:00
DoNuta taktuje – W trasiekoncert wyjazdowydla przedszkoli
09APRtu, 19:00
RUBATO 2018/2019Alentejo Cantado (Portugalia)Traditional concert
10APRwd, 09:00
DoNuta taktuje – W trasiekoncert wyjazdowydla przedszkoli
10APRwd, 11:00
DoNuta taktuje – W trasiekoncert wyjazdowydla przedszkoli
11APRth, 19:00
12APRfr, 13:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
12APRfr, 14:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmonii w języku angielskimsight-seeing the Philharmonic
12APRfr, 15:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
12APRfr, 19:00
SONORO 2018/2019Walewska | Songs by KarłowiczSymphonic concert
13APRsa, 09:00
Raniutto - LegatoWorkshops dla dzieci do 2. roku życia
13APRsa, 10:30
Raniutto - PortatoWorkshops dla dzieci w wieku od 2. do 4. roku życia
13APRsa, 12:00
Raniutto - StaccatoWorkshops dla dzieci w wieku od 4. do 6. roku życia
13APRsa, 19:00
ENERGICO 2018/2019Mitch & Mitch | ENERGICOconcert
14 APR, sn, 20:00 - KUBA BADACH - TRIBUTE TO ANDRZEJ ZAUCHA. OBECNYkoncert zewnętrzny
15 APR, mn, 19:00 - GALA NAGRODY ARTYSTYCZNEJ Z AGĄ ZARYANkoncert zewnętrzny
15APRmn, 19:30
Walewska | Songs by Karłowicz copykoncert wyjazdowy23. Wielkanocny Festiwal Ludwiga van Beethovena
17APRwd, 19:00
PIANOFORTE 2018/2019Competition Laureates | Boris Giltburgrecital
24APRwd, 19:00
25APRth, 17:30
akcja społeczna Słyszę Dobre DźwiękiODRA SOUND DESIGNconcert
25 APR, th, 20:00 - ANIA DĄBROWSKA THE BEST OFkoncert zewnętrzny
26APRfr, 13:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
26APRfr, 14:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmonii w języku angielskimsight-seeing the Philharmonic
26APRfr, 15:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
26APRfr, 19:00
SONORO 2018/2019Sibelius | Lutosławski | CzajkowskiSymphonic concert
28APRsn, 19:00
BRILLANTE 2018/2019Grażyna Auguścik | Jazz | Orchestraconcert
30APRtu, 19:00
May 2019
05MAYsn, 19:00
VIRTUOSO 2018/2019Claudia Stein plays WeinbergSymphonic concert
07MAYtu, 19:00
RUBATO 2018/2019Ibrahim Maalouf [concert cancelled]Traditional concert
07MAYtu, 19:00
RUBATO 2018/2019Marko Marković Brass BandTraditional concert
08MAYwd, 09:00
DoNuta taktuje – Na razChamber Concertdla przedszkoli
08MAYwd, 10:30
DoNuta taktuje – Na razChamber Concertdla przedszkoli
08MAYwd, 12:00
DoNuta taktuje – Na razChamber Concertdla przedszkoli
08MAYwd, 19:00
MISTERIOSO 2018/2019Harpsichord recital I Marcin ŚwiątkiewiczChamber Concert
09MAYth, 09:00
DoNuta taktuje – Na razChamber Concertdla przedszkoli
09MAYth, 10:30
DoNuta taktuje – Na razChamber Concertdla przedszkoli
09MAYth, 12:00
DoNuta taktuje – Na razChamber Concertdla przedszkoli
10MAYfr, 13:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
10MAYfr, 14:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmonii w języku angielskimsight-seeing the Philharmonic
10MAYfr, 15:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
10MAYfr, 19:00
FILM-HARMONY 2018/2019John Williams | Richard WagnerSymphonic concert
11MAYsa, 09:00
Raniutto - LegatoWorkshops dla dzieci do 2. roku życia
11MAYsa, 10:30
Raniutto - PortatoWorkshops dla dzieci w wieku od 2. do 4. roku życia
11MAYsa, 12:00
Raniutto - StaccatoWorkshops dla dzieci w wieku od 4. do 6. roku życia
14MAYtu, 10:00
Droga do Oza School concert dla klas IV-VIII
14MAYtu, 12:00
Droga do Oza School concert dla klas IV-VIII
15MAYwd, 10:00
Droga do Oza School concert dla klas IV-VIII
15MAYwd, 12:00
Droga do Oza School concert dla klas IV-VIII
17MAYfr, 13:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
17MAYfr, 14:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmonii w języku angielskimsight-seeing the Philharmonic
17MAYfr, 15:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
17MAYfr, 19:00
FILM-HARMONY 2018/2019Szczecin–Wrocław | Movie setChamber Concert
18MAYsa, 19:00
SOUNDLAB 2018/2019Weiss Video Orchestra – Lab 8: El-multielectronic music concert
19MAYsn, 17:00
W kinie w Szczecinie! Muzyka filmowaFamily concertfor children aged 6+ with guardians
19MAYsn, 17:00
Salonik Wiolinowy, czyli dziecko pod skrzydłami FilharmoniiWorkshops for children aged 3–6 years, without the participation of carers
21MAYtu, 09:00
DoNuta taktuje – Na dwaChamber Concertdla klas I-III
21MAYtu, 10:30
DoNuta taktuje – Na dwaChamber Concertdla klas I-III
21MAYtu, 12:00
DoNuta taktuje – Na dwaChamber Concertdla klas I-III
22MAYwd, 09:00
DoNuta taktuje – Na dwaChamber Concertdla klas I-III
22MAYwd, 10:30
DoNuta taktuje – Na dwaChamber Concertdla klas I-III
22MAYwd, 12:00
DoNuta taktuje – Na dwaChamber Concertdla klas I-III
22MAYwd, 19:00
INTERMEZZO 2018/2019Szczecin Artists | Jola SzczepaniakChamber Concert
24MAYfr, 13:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
24MAYfr, 14:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmonii w języku angielskimsight-seeing the Philharmonic
24MAYfr, 15:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
24MAYfr, 19:00
25MAYsa, 09:00
Raniutto - LegatoWorkshops dla dzieci do 2. roku życia
25MAYsa, 10:30
Raniutto - PortatoWorkshops dla dzieci w wieku od 2. do 4. roku życia
25MAYsa, 12:00
Raniutto - StaccatoWorkshops dla dzieci w wieku od 4. do 6. roku życia
27MAYmn, 19:00
ESPRESSIVO 2018/2019Stars for Quincy Jones Jazz concert
31MAYfr, 13:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
31MAYfr, 14:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmonii w języku angielskimsight-seeing the Philharmonic
31MAYfr, 15:00
Zwiedzanie Filharmoniisight-seeing the Philharmonic
31MAYfr, 19:00
FILM-HARMONY 2018/2019Made in AmericaSymphonic concert
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