12 May 2021

Farewell to classical connector Rick Young

From Upbeat, 12:30 pm on 12 May 2021
RNZ Concert presenter Rick Young

RNZ Concert presenter Rick Young Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

After two decades of sharing his love of classical music with RNZ Concert listeners, Classical Connection host Rick Young is hanging up his headphones.

Rick talked with David Morriss about some of the technological and stylistic changes to presentation at RNZ Concert over the last 20 years.

"The music itself hasn't changed much," says Rick. "We still play the same core artists, for example, your Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, but how we actually deliver it has has changed a lot."

David Morriss and Rick Young

David Morriss and Rick Young Photo: RJ

"It was a lot more formal 20 years ago ... We weren't so much encouraged to have opinions, you know, as a presenter, your role was there literally to present the music ... basically just sticking to the facts and saying a little bit about the piece.

"I think these days the presenter is encouraged to be more of a facilitator of the music ... You're encouraged to talk about the impact the music might have had on you or somebody else, and maybe even the feelings that it brings up."

"In this age of streaming services ... you can easily create and curate your own playlist on something like Spotify without having a presenter and without listening to a station like RNZ Concert.

"So we need to add some sort of value to the music, and I think the best way we can do that is by giving our thoughts and opinions and sharing those with the listeners, hopefully making their listening experience more enjoyable and more interesting."

"It's more about that communal experience," says Rick, "that just being 'in the moment' with a piece of music."

Music details

TRAD arr Erb: Shenandoah - 1992 New Zealand National Youth Choir/Karen Grylls (MANU CD MANU 1412)

MOZART: Piano Concerto No 21 in C K467 (2) - Richard Mapp (pno), New Zealand SO/James Sedares (Universal 99072)