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Living British Conductors


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Dundonnell
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« on: September 22, 2015, 12:27:30 am »

Another list Roll Eyes but there is a point to this....

Current ages in brackets. Principal Conductorships/Musical Directorships since 2000 only

Raymond Leppard (88)   Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra 1987-2001
James Loughran (84)      Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, 1996-2003
Sir Roger Norrington (81 ) Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra 1998-2011
David Lloyd-Jones (80)
Sir John Eliot Gardiner (72)
Jeffrey Tate (72)          Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, 2008-
David Atherton(71)      Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, 1989-2000
Sir Andrew Davis (71)  Chicago Lyric Opera, 2000-; Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, 2013-
Sir Mark Elder (69):       Halle Orchestra, 2000-
Donald Runnicles (61)   Deutsche Oper, Berlin, 2009-
Sir Simon Rattle (60)   Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, 2002-18; London Symphony Orchestra, 2017-
Paul Daniel (57)           Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, 2013-
Ivor Bolton (57)           Mozarteum Orchestra, Salzburg, 2004-16; Basel Symphony Orchestra, 2016-
Sir Antonio Pappano (56)  Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 2002-; Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Rome, 2005-
Martyn Brabbins (56)   Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, 2013-
Jonathan Nott (53)      Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, 2000-16; Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, 2016-; Suisse Romande Orchestra, 2017-
Mark Wigglesworth (51)English National Opera, 2015-2016
Edward Gardner (41)   Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, 2015-
Daniel Harding (40)     Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, 2007-; Orchestre de Paris, 2016-
Michael Francis (39)   Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra, 2012-2016; Florida Orchestra, 2015-


What strikes me about this is that a lot of these British conductors have been appointed to very fine orchestras and clearly enjoy a substantial amount of prestige but in most cases these appointments have been outwith the British Isles. Orchestral managements within Britain have seemed to be very surprisingly (shockingly Huh) loathe to appoint native-born conductors to British orchestras. Jonathan Nott, Edward Gardner, Daniel Harding Huh Huh Yes, Gardner has only recently given up the poisoned chalice of English National Opera but he is now off to Bergen when he could (and should) have been appointed to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. We in Britain have two Russians (Vladimir Jurowski and Vasily Petrenko), one Ukrainian (Kiril Karabits) and now two Danes (Thomas Dausgaard and Thomas Sondergard) in charge of orchestras. All of these are fine conductors, no doubt, but I am puzzled at the apparent lack of honour and respect in their own country suffered by some I list.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 03:35:12 pm by Dundonnell » Report Spam   Logged

Greg K
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2015, 04:39:07 pm »

Perhaps they prefer it that way, - i.e. don't want the home country jobs given the alternatives.

I'd choose myself spending more time in Bergen than Birmingham, - though I suppose nowadays
in that regard it might come down to which has the nicer airport.
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2015, 08:19:03 pm »

Another list Roll Eyes but there is a point to this....We in Britain have two Russians (Vladimir Petrenko and Vasily Petrenko), one Ukrainian (Kiril Karabits) and now two Danes

Actually you've got a third Russian in Britain - Vladimir Jurowski at the LPO, who stands head-and-shoulders above the rest of the pack as an international conductor in the upper echelons of achievement.

Vasily Petrenko is similarly a top-flight international conductor. His work in Liverpool has revived the fortunes of the RLPO.

Rather than dismissing ENO as a 'poisoned chalice', perhaps we might do rather better to ask why the Arts Council of Great Britain has laboured long and hard for the past ten years to sabotage ENO, close it down, and fulfil its sordid dream of merging it into the ROH??  Surely that's the real scandal behind the way Britain dumps on its musicians from such a great height, hmm?  And indeed the same questions can be asked regarding Scottish Opera  (whose orchestral players were recently told to look for part-time jobs in supermarkets), and work and coverage that used to be done by the marvellous Kent Opera?

Britain wants to have a rich cultural life. Provided it can be beamed into the Roxy on the High Street from the Met on Saturday nights, and doesn't need to be paid for  Sad
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ahinton
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 10:27:01 pm »

Another list Roll Eyes but there is a point to this....We in Britain have two Russians (Vladimir Petrenko and Vasily Petrenko), one Ukrainian (Kiril Karabits) and now two Danes

Actually you've got a third Russian in Britain - Vladimir Jurowski at the LPO, who stands head-and-shoulders above the rest of the pack as an international conductor in the upper echelons of achievement.

Vasily Petrenko is similarly a top-flight international conductor. His work in Liverpool has revived the fortunes of the RLPO.

Rather than dismissing ENO as a 'poisoned chalice', perhaps we might do rather better to ask why the Arts Council of Great Britain has laboured long and hard for the past ten years to sabotage ENO, close it down, and fulfil its sordid dream of merging it into the ROH??  Surely that's the real scandal behind the way Britain dumps on its musicians from such a great height, hmm?  And indeed the same questions can be asked regarding Scottish Opera  (whose orchestral players were recently told to look for part-time jobs in supermarkets), and work and coverage that used to be done by the marvellous Kent Opera?

Britain wants to have a rich cultural life. Provided it can be beamed into the Roxy on the High Street from the Met on Saturday nights, and doesn't need to be paid for  Sad
With you all the way on all of this!
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 02:08:25 am »

Another list Roll Eyes but there is a point to this....We in Britain have two Russians (Vladimir Petrenko and Vasily Petrenko), one Ukrainian (Kiril Karabits) and now two Danes

Actually you've got a third Russian in Britain - Vladimir Jurowski at the LPO, who stands head-and-shoulders above the rest of the pack as an international conductor in the upper echelons of achievement.

Vasily Petrenko is similarly a top-flight international conductor. His work in Liverpool has revived the fortunes of the RLPO.

Rather than dismissing ENO as a 'poisoned chalice', perhaps we might do rather better to ask why the Arts Council of Great Britain has laboured long and hard for the past ten years to sabotage ENO, close it down, and fulfil its sordid dream of merging it into the ROH??  Surely that's the real scandal behind the way Britain dumps on its musicians from such a great height, hmm?  And indeed the same questions can be asked regarding Scottish Opera  (whose orchestral players were recently told to look for part-time jobs in supermarkets), and work and coverage that used to be done by the marvellous Kent Opera?

Britain wants to have a rich cultural life. Provided it can be beamed into the Roxy on the High Street from the Met on Saturday nights, and doesn't need to be paid for  Sad

Two Russians: Vladimir Jurowski and Vasily Petrenko. I had written "Vladimir Petrenko" when I meant "Vladimir Jurowski". Roll Eyes

I totally agree that both Jurowski and Petrenko are exceptionally fine conductors. It just seems somewhat odd to me that conductors like Daniel Harding should be considered good enough to be appointed to the Orchestre de Paris and Jonathan Nott to the Suisse Romande. Jonathan Nott is hardly known to the concert public in Britain.

I did not intend when using the phrase "poisoned chalice" to "dismiss" the ENO. Taking over the musical directorship at this time however will be very far from easy. Paul Daniel had a terrible time there.
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Gauk
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 12:02:36 pm »

Daniel Harding is a very fine conductor and seems to have a good relationship with the Swedish RSO, which is also a very good orchestra. I heard him recently conduct Birtwistle and Mahler - probably the best performance of Das Lied von der Erde I can recall. It's not a work I have ever been fond of, but he made a very persuasive account of it.
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 12:12:16 pm »

Paul Daniel had a terrible time there.

Yes, I've heard both sides of that story. It's certainly true that the management behaved in an utterly treasonable way towards him. The rot set in when Harewood left, and the careerist snake Jonas arrived. Jonas then ran the company into the ground - and having secured himself a nice position in Europe, scarpered amid the ruins he left behind. (Let us not mention the many professional careers which were sacrificed to Jonas's ruthlessness).

But this is all ancient history now.

ENO has been cast adrift by the Arts Council - who de facto fired its Artistic Director, and have left its management in the hands of beancounters who couldn't tell a semibreve from a semicolon. Rather than face the unpopularity of actually closing ENO down officially, they've just administered 'the death of a thousand cuts'.

I can't say I am impressed by Wigglesworth. I fell asleep during his PARSIFAL at ENO - and only woke up when I dropped my program on my foot. I strongly doubt he has the measure of LADY MAC in him - but the public will find out very soon. I would have gone anyhow, if distance and cost were not an issue. It really needs a Russian conductor to do it justice - Jurowski or Petrenko were at the other end of a can't-tell-you-line, if they'd only bothered to call.

The sad truth that defies ENO's leather-elbow-patch detractors is that the box office 'smash hits' have been the unconventional shows - SATYAGRAHA (although I hated it), NIXON IN CHINA, and so forth - not an empty seat left in the house. The po-faced cries for "classics, in classical productions" are actually the shows where attendance drops below 60%. My last trip to the Coli was in March this year, for a truly woeful* production of THE INDIAN QUEEN. I moved forward in the Dress Circle, and there must have been eight entirely empty rows behind me.

ENO ought to be the proving-ground for a whole generation of British conductors (and it has been in the past) - a place where would-be young conductors can learn the trade as repetiteurs and assistant chorus-masters - and watch their bosses at work. However, the chances of this tried-and-tested process of apprenticeship there now look bleaker and bleaker.

* original libretto thrown away, a whole act of different music inserted, and a worthless guilt-trip about Cortez's slaughter in Mexico (Mexico? Atlas, anyone??) inserted over improvised music (because there is no such slaughter in Purcell's opera).  All the singers were Americans except Lucy Crowe, and they were uniformly abysmal (counter-tenor a whole tone flat). I left at the interval, feeling utterly cheated and angry. But it was Purcell!! Our national composer, eh?  The one David Cameron couldn't even remember.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2016, 12:39:27 am »

Sadly, I shall now have to remove the name of Sir Neville Marriner from the list. At the age of 92 he had a long and distinguished career, not just as the founder of the famous and highly acclaimed Academy of St.Martin-in-the-Fields, but as Principal Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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Alex Bozman
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2016, 08:27:35 pm »

Shouldn't Sir Mark Elder at the Halle feature on this list?
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ahinton
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2016, 09:35:05 pm »

But it was Purcell!! Our national composer, eh?  The one David Cameron couldn't even remember.
Ah, yes; I also remember his being asked who composed the music for Rule! Britannia, in response to which he shuffled around rather sheepishly for a moment before meekly answering "er, Elgar, was it?" - proving beyond all reasonable doubt what most of us had long since recognised, namely that he didn't know his Arne from his Elgar...
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Gauk
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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2016, 11:31:15 am »

Ah, yes; I also remember his being asked who composed the music for Rule! Britannia, in response to which he shuffled around rather sheepishly for a moment before meekly answering "er, Elgar, was it?" - proving beyond all reasonable doubt what most of us had long since recognised, namely that he didn't know his Arne from his Elgar...

 Cheesy
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2016, 03:31:27 pm »

Shouldn't Sir Mark Elder at the Halle feature on this list?

Unforgiveable omission Roll Eyes I do apologise!
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