Issue 13: Lockdown Lucky Dip

Welcome to Issue 13: Lockdown Lucky Dip

Hello there. I hope you’re all keeping well, and sane…

It seems appropriate to kick off this mixed bag of treats with the topic of Overtures. This was the novel suggestion made by conductor Paul Bateman, Principal Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, who spoke to me back in May. With a huge wealth of experience in the concert hall, studio, opera house and musical theatre, Paul is an incredibly versatile conductor, and a real pleasure to speak with. When conducting for soloists such as José Carreras, Sarah Brightman and Katherine Jenkins, he is often asked to select an appropriate overture for each half of the concert. This interview explores a number of his favourite choices to set the tone for an evening’s entertainment.

Wagner is one of Karina Canellakis’s all time favourite composers, and her infectious enthusiasm for Act I of Die Walküre provides a great gateway into the composer’s gargantuan Ring Cycle. Karina started her professional musical life as a violinist in the Berlin Philharmonic, and is now Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. As this was Notes from the Podium’s first interview on Wagner, it also presented the opportunity to discuss the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. If you haven’t already, take a good look at the design of its orchestra pit.

Are you currently considering your best path into conducting, or are a conductor considering a teaching position? Scott Wilson returns to Notes from the Podium for a highly detailed and comprehensive discussion about his work as a conducting teacher. He is the Zander Fellow with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and teaches conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. If you are seriously considering life as a professional conductor, this is essential reading that will shine a light on how Scott teaches in both individual sessions and group workshops.

Surely there’s something that will appeal to everyone here. Huge thanks to Paul, Karina and Scott for their involvement. I hope you enjoy your read…

…and Happy (socially distanced!) Conducting.

Dr. Hannah Baxter