A conversation with Diana Doherty
Diana, your performance is described almost as turning ‘the concert hall stage into a dance floor’. Have you found that music always inspired you to move?
Yes, Im afraid so…
You premiered Ross Edwards’ Oboe Concerto in 2002, in which your performance included choreography. How did you find this experience of formally being an oboist plus dancer?
Daunting, confronting, but very enriching and satisfying too. I am not a dancer at all!
Do you hope to inspire others to combine music and movement in performance or perhaps even in everyday life?
Not specifically, but I would like to inspire classical performers to feel that they have the right to push boundaries, reject stereotypes, and use all their ideas and talents to be expressive.
What motivated your collaboration with St Lawrence String Quartet?
I met them years ago in America and have remained in contact. They are an ensemble of the highest possible calibre, and lovely people. Who wouldn’t jump at a chance to play with them?
Can you choose a highlight of the program?
Being on stage in their company – being included!
Do you enjoy experimenting with classical repertoire?
What are you listening to at the moment?
I try to listen to silence if I can… I know that sounds boring but with a position in a big orchestra and as a Mum in a busy household, I just really appreciate quiet.
What is the first record you ever bought?
I remember my Mum bought me a record of the Strauss oboe concerto when I was very young, and that really made an impression. But the first ones I actually bought for myself, I think it was some Bach cello suites, and some Chopin Etudes with Maurizio Pollini.
You inspire many artists. Who inspires you?
Gosh, there are so many people, some of whom I don’t even know the names… I love to look to different disciplines for inspiration, for example. I really admire people who are humble and gracious, who have big hearts, and don’t compromise this in their quest to be the best they can be. I look at Federer and Nadal, for example, and marvel at their drive and excellence but also their ability to self-analyse and give credit where it is due. I think it takes courage to be gracious and self-aware in a competitive sphere like theirs.