The semi-finalists are...

The ten semi-finalists are:

Gabriel Bebeselea (Romania)
Jonathan Bloxham (UK)
Elim Chan (UK)
Mihhail Gerts (Estonia)
Rafal Janiak (Poland)
Giancarlo Rizzi (Italy)
Jiri Rozen (Czech Republic)
Azis Sadikovic (Austria)
Daniele Squeo (Italy)
Johannes Zurl (Germany)

Read more ...

now we wait

As the slow movement of Bartok’s Divertimento seeps to its silent close, day one of the 2014 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition comes to an end.

Or at least the competitive part of it does, and 15 minutes earlier than scheduled due to the withdrawal of that one candidate.

Read more ...

different styles

Discussing how things were going, as they packed up for their lunch break, a group of the Guildhall orchestra players were agreeing with each other that their playing was getting better as the morning progressed.

That’s certainly true and of course not altogether surprising. It doesn’t necessarily follow that their playing would also change from conductor to conductor, that they would be responsive to the varying styles.

Read more ...

first go

Surely, you might say, it’s an advantage to be one of the last conductors to appear in the round, if only because the orchestra will have already played the music several times.

And so they will be able to concentrate more on being musical and focus more on the conductor’s movements. That might be so. It also might mean they have seen it once too often. So how to keep it fresh?

Read more ...

time to talk

“I don’t want to talk, I want to communicate with this,” says Mihhail Gerts at one point during his 15 minutes with the Guildhall orchestra, waving his baton.

Words that orchestral musicians are always glad to hear (and a reason why conducting students tend to have it drummed into them to keep rehearsals moving), but today there’s another reason to keep words to a minimum.

Read more ...