Gianandrea Noseda: What makes Shakespeare a master

Gianandrea Noseda returns to the LSO this month conducting some of the most dramatic orchestral works inspired by the Bard. We learn more about what Shakespeare's writings mean to him as a performer.

'Shakespeare is one of history’s greatest story tellers. He produced masterpieces in which human emotions and contradictions are depicted with merciless precision and direct emotional involvement.' 

For Gianandrea Noseda, Shakespeare's themes lend themselves perfectly to musical reinterpretation. 'The power and drama of his stories couldn’t be more engaging for composers who try to express these emotions through their music,' he says. 'That’s why for example Macbeth’s obsession with power, the impossible love of Romeo and Juliet and the madness of Richard III have inspired composers over the centuries and nurtured their imagination.'

But when interpreting Shakespeare's works in this way, there's a lot to live up to: 'As performers, our responsibility is to create the same sense of wonder in our audience when they hear these works, as the master storyteller does when we read them.’


This month, Noseda will conduct two concerts inspired by some of Shakespeare's most passionate tales of jealousy, love and death. On Thursday 25 February, he explores Smetana's interpretation of Richard III, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet overture, and Strauss' Macbeth, as well as being joined by Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski for Liszt's mysterious and theatrical Piano Concerto No 2. 

On Sunday 28 February Noseda is joined by virtuoso violinist Janine Jansen for Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No 2, before leading the Orchestra in Berlioz's evocative and daring Romeo and Juliet, performed as a suite arranged by the conductor himself. 

Gianandrea Noseda conducts the final two installments of the LSO's Shakespeare 400 series on Thursday 25 and Sunday 28 February.