You can't take the English pride out of Oxford-born conductor Daniel Harding, even after he's been hanging out in Italy for a bit. He's currently in Milan after starting his 2011 La Scala engagements on January 10th with an extraordinary concert of Strauss' Alpensinfonie (OC was there) and now leads the double-bill of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci/Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana through February 5.
Harding was grilled by Corriere della Sera in a Q&A about his recent favorites, and his list sticks mainly to the classics with a heavy hand of British taste. The last movie he saw? How To Train Your Dragon with his kids. And the last DVD? He loves television series and one of his favorites is A History of Britian. OC needs to replace that series with the BBC Sherlock (Sherlock as an Aspie? Brilliant). Here's the rest of the list:
The film that he's watched the most? "All the President's Men -- three times -- maybe it's just a shameful waste of time, but I loved the slang and the fact that it was an introduction to American politics."
The last iTunes download? "The Godfather -- I hadn't seen it in 10 years and it was a nice surprise to re-watch it since at this point almost all of the scenes have become classics of cinema."
Your favorite movie?: "The Age of Innocence. I saw it when I was a teen and it left a special mark on me."
Your favorite actor? "Anthony Hopkins: He could have been a great conductor -- he would have been able to conduct with his eyes only."
What are you reading? "Who Are We - And Should It Matter in the 21st Century? by Gary Younge."
What book should you never be without? "One of Gordon Ramsay's books.You can't even imagine the greatness of this English chef."
The most sage of books you've read? "Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time".
A pop CD that you've recently downloaded? "The complete works of The Beatles."
Your favorite composer? "Schumann, the most under-valued."
Your favorite instrument? "The orchestral symphony: magnificent and diverse."