Issue 7: From Across the Pond

I’m delighted to welcome you to Issue 7: From Across the Pond. This all-American issue comprises in-depth interviews with three eminent conductors. Firstly, the internationally acclaimed Leonard Slatkin generously gave his time in the Autumn to share his thoughts on Copland’s Third Symphony – a piece he has conducted for decades. It was a fascinating conversation, made even more so by the fact he also knew Copland himself. Slatkin was the driving force behind the new Boosey and Hawkes edition of the symphony that reinstated the music previously cut by Leonard Bernstein. There are very few (if any) conductors alive today that could be more of an authority on the composer and one of his most well known works.


Following him is a conductor he mentored: the brilliant Brett Mitchell, Music Director of the Colorado Symphony. Mitchell suggested discussing Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F – a piece he knows very well and recently conducted with the soloist Joyce Yang. This is the first concerto that Notes from the Podium has covered, and Mitchell’s vast knowledge and infectious enthusiasm provides invaluable advice on the collaborative process. He will also whet your appetite for the work, one that is certainly underperformed over here in Europe.


Lastly, we have a Brit: Ben Palmer, Artistic Director of Covent Garden Sinfonia and Chefdirigent of Deutsche Philharmonie Merck, who gave another incredibly enlightening and information-packed interview on conducting the John Williams films with live orchestra. This is one of Palmer’s specialisms, for which he is in great demand all over Europe. I believe it to be one of the first interviews that explores this burgeoning genre in such detail. It really is an art, and if conducting for films appeals to you, this is a must-read.


Huge thanks to Leonard, Brett and Ben. It has been a pleasure.

Enjoy! And Happy New Year.


Dr Hannah Baxter