In the new issue of Attitude, we speak to classical pianist and former BBC Music Magazine Rising Star Manny Vass about being life in the classical music industry, where he admits that despite the medium’s often stuffy and traditional image, his sexuality has never raised any eyebrows.
The former Independent ‘One to Watch Award’-winner, who saw his first album From Bach to Bond played on the likes of Classic FM and BBC Radio 3, adds that as a gay, mixed-race carpenter’s son from Yorkshire, he’s trying to change young people’s perceptions of classical music for good.
Asked if it’s ironic that his sexuality seems less of an issue in the classical industry than it would be for a rising pop star, Manny says: “Yeah, no one cares! It really isn’t an issue for me. It doesn’t bother me and if anyone asks me I’ll happily tell them, but it’s not even a question that comes up to be honest with you. No one seems to care, which is fine!
“People hear my piano playing and hear me live and they don’t think ‘Oh, I wonder who he’s sleeping with!’ And I’m completely happy with that obviously.
“I don’t envisage it as something which artists are judged by, because it should be the work and the creativity and the productivity which is important, not who I choose to fall in love with.”
The 26-year-old – who’s currently gearing up to release his second album, Sonic Waves – goes on to say that changing people’s opinions of classical music keeps him motivated as an artist.
“Part of my reason for doing it is to inspire people, and help them understand that a lot of the time, going to see a classical concert is cheaper than going to a football match or the cinema.
“People think only middle-aged people listen to classical music, but you know, I’m a mixed-race, twenty-something carpenter’s son and I’m totally into it.”
Manny’s new album Sonic Waves is out June 1. To see him on his 28-date UK national tour, visit his website emmanuelvass.co.uk.
You can read our full interview with Manny plus much more in the new June issue of Attitude, which is available to download to your mobile, iPad or tablet device now at Pocketmags.com/Attitude. You can buy it in shops now and also have it delivered directly to your door at newsstand.co.uk.