There goes Thursday….

Thursday, BBC NOW Strangely tired Thursday morning. “Strangely” tired until I realize I had conducted an Elgar 1 run-through the night before with lots of in-flight coaching and made it back to Cardiff after 1 AM. House issues pre-occupy much of the morning- never replace your kitchen if you want to have any time for work. Early afternoon and I’m off to Studio 1 to see the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. I arrive as they’re finishing another rehearsal with another conductor, Edwin Outwater, who is conducting their Friday night film music concert. It feels a bit surreal- Edwin and I go back about 14 years to many summers at the Round Top Festival in Texas, where we were always the two young conductors. We’ve followed each other on and off the podium countless times, but it feels weird doing it 5000 miles from Texas. My rehearsal is as laid back as a rehearsal with a world-class band can be- the music is fun and familiar to them and we all know the performance is a low-key one. Still, I have to be just as prepared and focused for this as I would for a Prom, and time to prepare and energy to focus are in short supply. Nonetheless, the play through is a blast, and we have a short, productive session before Sue and I head off to dinner with Edwin.

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

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