October 2008

Just back from conducting the wonderful Irish Chamber Orchestra, performing with a group of fantastically talented actors in a great show put together by Liam Halligan and Lawrence Evans. The audience seemed to love it and we received standing ovations for all performances. Here's the Irish Examiner:

'Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream

A bewitching, beguiling night's theatre is the best way of describing the collaboration between Storytellers Theatre Company and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

It was a magical experience. Right from the four chords that set the magical atmosphere of the overture to Puck's final soliloquy we were in a place apart, a place where theatrical and musical magic happened. Overall the production was remarkably inventive, and the seven actors who played the 20 roles were extraordinarily athletic, never allowing the pace to slacken. And of course, the shimmering, sensitive brilliance of the ICO's playing was a joy throughout.'

Vaughan Williams' fifth symphony is a revelation - I think I'm beginning to understand something of the feelings which drove him to write such a peaceful ending in the midst of WW2. I hope we can do it justice - 8th November, St Anne's Church, Kew Green.

The Royal Orchestral Society have invited me back to conduct their next concert which I'm hoping will be an opportunity to programme one of two symphonies which I've been longing to do for years - Sibelius 7th or Shostakovitch 10th.

I'm also working up to a cello recital in a couple of weeks and much looking forward to the 15 Bach recitals next year.

The Roman River Festival was a huge success, with audience figures substantially up on last year, and a definite mandate to progress forward with our artistic policy over the next few years.