Lenny Lights it Up

This is another real YouTube treasure. I’m conducting this mini-masterpiece tomorrow for the first time in about 20 years, but it’s a piece you hear (or least I hear) all the time, and there are many good performances out there under Bernstein’s baton (and others). The most famous, and most often seen and heard, recording […]

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A Brahmsian Update

A little update on the Brahms Piano Quartet orchestration project, for those of you interested…. A quick summary of how we got to where we are! The arrangement had its genesis in 2008 in Ischia when the idea came to me. I spent a good chunk of that summer annotating my score of the original […]

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FIVE STARS FOR AN EVENTFUL MORNING IN LONDON FROM THE TIMES

Wonderful new FIVE STAR review in The Times for An Eventful Morning in East London: 21st C. Violin Concertos with Harriet Mackenzie; Get your copy: https://eso.co.uk/…/an-eventful-morning-in-east-london-21st…/ “Mackenzie’s playing is rivetingly incisive throughout, and Kenneth Woods, conductor obtains exemplary accompaniments from the English String Orchestra and English Symphony Orchestra.” Classical review: Harriet Mackenzie: An Eventful Morning in East […]

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ESO 2016-7 in review. The good

This past Sunday afternoon, I conducted the ESO in a performance of Tchaikovksy’s String Serenade which marked the end of our main 2016-7 season. Between now and our return from the summer holidays, my colleagues are doing some fascinating chamber music concerts, the Bach B minor Mass with the wonderful Sarah MacDonald guest conducting, and […]

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Concert Review, The Guardian – Pritchard’s vibrant violin concerto captures sound of the sea    

ESO/Woods review – Pritchard’s vibrant violin concerto captures sound of the sea Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Kenneth Woods led the English String Orchestra through a strong programme of new work that included Deborah Pritchard’s concerto inspired by Maggi ‘s Hambling’s art Maggi Hambling is the most musical of painters. Her giant Scallop sculpture on Aldeburgh beach is inscribed […]

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Haunted by my visit to Thornfield

Where does an opera really take place? Why, on the stage, I hear you say. Of course, that’s true, but not quite the truth. Der Rosenkavalier and The Magic Flute might take place on the same stage in the same week, but they clearly don’t take place in the same place. Of course, in the […]

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John Joubert’s Jane Eyre- A conductor’s perspective

John Joubert’s musical language is original yet familiar, subtle yet direct. Firmly rooted in tonality, his harmonic vocabulary is highly sophisticated and personal, and he seems to have a particular knack for energising traditional harmonies through clashes, bi-tonality and harmonic extension. Joubert’s Jane Eyre is the work of a melodist of the highest order who […]

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The English Symphony Orchestra’s 21st C. Symphony Project: Nine symphonies, nine composers, one orchestra.

From the latest issue of Musical Opinion Magazine. My manifesto explaining the thinking behind the 21st C. Symphony Project. Subscribe to the magazine here.    On 28 February, 2017, the English Symphony Orchestra will premiere the Third Symphony by Philip Sawyers, the first work in a cycle of nine new symphonies to be commissioned by […]

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On funding

The relationship between artists and arts funders seems ever more complicated. It seems to me that most funders (trusts, public sector funders, private sponsors) lack the energy, time or knowledge to vet funding applications in the arts on the basis of merit or quality. The problem is compounded in music as few people making decisions […]

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