The Greatest Unloved Symphonies

I just conducted Bruckner’s Second Symphony for the first time a few days ago- even many of the most pro-Bruckner opinion makers seem to think that only his symphonies from the Fourth onward are worth doing, and the often over-zealous defences of the early symphonies by well-intentioned  fans of the composer sometimes do more harm […]

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2007-10 KW Repertoire Report Statistical Analysis and Listing

My initial impulse in the Repertoire Report project came from frustration observing the difficult of getting a clear or even honest answer from teachers, famous conductors , artist managers or orchestra administrators when many of my fellow students at workshops and festivals would ask things like “how many pieces does a working professional conductor need […]

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Future Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 10, am I late yet?

Many, many years ago, as a young teenager, I became completely obsessed with Mahler’s music. Back then, living in the Midwest, there was far less material on Mahler about- I ended up scouring libraries and compulsively hunting through record stores, trying bit by bit to track down recordings of all his works. In the age […]

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Post-concert Prokofian thoughts and great composer rivalries

The big topic of conversation this week has been the 5th and final Prokofiev Piano Concerto, which I conducted on Saturday night with Daniel de Borah and the Surrey Mozart Players. Many of you will have already seen the review, which came out yesterday. The reviewer was quite right to point out the incredible difficulty […]

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How I learned to stop worrying and love the Bruckner

One of the most common questions I get both from audience memebrs and fellow performers alike is “I just don’t get so-and-so’s music, what am I missing?” I think that is a great question, regardless of the composer, whereas hearing “I don’t like so-and-so’s music” is a very sad thing. Why give up? Why cut […]

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