Representing the pianists of the world is Chinese concert pianist: Lang Lang. Lang Lang - meaning: 'brilliance of the sky' - first came across western music whilst watching an episode of Tom & Jerry which features a rhapsody by Franz Liszt. From then on, he took up piano lessons and quickly made his way through some of the most prestigious music establishments in the world. The first time I saw Lang Lang perform was at The Albert Hall. Performing Beethoven, he had an incredible attention to detail and phrasing, and gave a truly dramatic performance that kept the entire hall silent (until the rupture of applause of course). However, Lang Lang is not only a brilliant pianist. He has received numerous awards for his work with charities and foundations in China, as well as being listed by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influencial People in the World.
I recommend: Piano Concerto No. 1 - Frederic Chopin
'Ivor Gurney - Sleep'. Surprisingly, Bostridge originally intended to go into theoretical physics. However, after a few years of experience in the field, he decided to turn to the modern history (which he studied at Oxford and Cambridge). Eventually, Bostridge became a professional singer, and went on to become one of the most famous contemporary male voices.
I recommend: Silent Noon - Ralph Vaughan Williams
To represent the women, I chose Nicola Benedetti - a Scottish Classical violinist. Benedetti was first properly discovered by the public when she won the Young Musician of the Year Award in 2004 at the age of 16. From this, she was offered a recording contract worth £1million, and went on to perform at various prestigious engagements around the world. Now with six albums altogether, Benedetti has just brought out her most recent: 'The Silver Violin', which features many classics from the violin repertoire such as John Williams' 'Schindler's List' and Erich Korngold's violin solo from his opera 'Die Tote Stadt'. Some criticise the album to be a rather unimaginative line-up of music. However, I disagree as I believe her to have already proved her capabilities of playing some of the hardest music in the violin repertoire in her previous albums.
I recommend: Die Tote Stadt : Tanzlied des Pierrot - Erich Korngold
I recommend: Wherever You Are - Paul Mealor
Many criticise those who have gone through the Classical music industry and come out famous and successful businessmen and women, as they believe them to have sold themselves out for the commercial spotlight. To me, this is absolutely ridiculous, as making Classical music commercial is a key factor in trying to make Classical music more appealing and more accessible to the rest of the public. Just because they've had a few classy photo-shoots and interviews to promote their work, it doesn't mean we should diminish the fact that these are hard-working musicians who wish to share their talents with the world.