Various items

Things are a little chaotic this week with the OES Mahler 4 coming up, so this post will be rather random.

First- thanks to everyone at Wilmslow Symphony for a great first concert together on Saturday. I appreciated the friendly vibe, but I really appreciated the quite smokin’ performance of Pictures. Well done, everyone!

Second- for those of you coming to next week’s Rose City Chamber Orchestra concert in Portland, Oregon (and for those of you playing in it!), Schirmer’s continuing uselessness has necessitated a change of program. We’re now replacing the Bruckner 7 with Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet as arranged for string orchestra by Mahler and me. I’ve expanded and altered the bass part quite a bit from Mahler’s version, and added a few more divisi to clean up some balances. It’s nice fit with the Haydn 92 on the first half of the program. And no, nobody from Schirmer of Breitkopf has yet responded to any of the phone or email messages we’ve left them since last week about the wrong set of parts we received. G Schirmer—J’accuse!

I’m nearly recovered from my concert and trip exploits of the past weekend, and I now have my suitcase. There’s really nothing more aggravating than finishing a trans-Atlantic to find you have no clean clothes…. Monday was mostly spent trying to sort out last minute logistics for the Mahler and organize the program change for RCCO and then doing lots of hectic cello practice before my first rehearsal with Sheila for our recital next month. We’ll meet a couple of times this week then not again until the day before the show. Great program- Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Prokofiev sonatas, but after not playing much for several weeks, my hands felt like they’d been hit repeatedly with hammers at the end of our rehearsal yesterday. November 9 in Pendleton, mark your calendars.

My first rehearsal on the Mahler is tonight. They’ve already had one string sectional led by the principals and a read through with our cover conductor, Erik, on Thursday last week. I don’t mean to scare anyone playing, but I do think it’s the most difficult of all the Mahler’s because of its transparency, need for contrapuntal clarity and intimacy. Hopefully we’ll  really benefit from the extra prep time.

Now, back to the cello!

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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.

Learn about Kenneth at

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5 comments on “Various items”

  1. composerbastard

    master kenneth – perhaps you should have a set of clothes on both sides of the atlantic, so you dony have to carry anything but an optional toothbrush

  2. Kenneth Woods

    master bastard

    i did- they were all burned up in the fire last year….

    toothbrush carrying is not a problem, but toothpaste carrying is….


  3. Anna

    Hi Ken,
    Just stick your toothpaste in your hand luggage. I bet you they don’t say anything. The whole liquids on board airplanes thing seems rarely challenged.
    If they do stop you though, I knew nothing about it!

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