Wednesday, February 15, 2006

St Magnus Festival - Orkney conducting masterclass

This is a great festival.
And the repertoire for this summer looks great. I was there for two summers and had a wonderful time.


The fourth Orkney Conducting Course takes place between 12th and 22nd June 2006 . This ten-day course for emerging conductors overlaps with and is closely linked to the St Magnus Festival, Orkney 's midsummer celebration of the arts. One of the UK 's most vibrant and innovative festivals, St Magnus is set against the spectacular backdrop of Orkney at midsummer.

OCC Director is Martyn Brabbins, one of Britain's finest conductors and a highly regarded and experienced teacher of conducting.

The course provides a stimulating and supportive environment in which conductors can share in an intensive period of study. Most importantly, as part of the St Magnus Festival, OCC enables participants to work with outstanding orchestras, ensembles, conductors and soloists. In 2006 these include the BBC Philharmonic, the Nash Ensemble, conductors Martyn Brabbins, Sian Edwards and Charles Peebles , viola virtuoso Lawrence Power, pianists Judith Keaney and Lynda Cochrane, and composer/conductors James MacMillan and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Initial sessions are with two pianos, focusing on clarity of communication of musical ideas. The students' work is video-recorded and time is spent analysing these recor di ngs. The two-piano work prepares students for two days of rehearsal with the BBC Philharmonic and the Nash Ensemble .

Students also direct a rehearsal with the St Magnus Festival Chorus, and viola virtuoso, Lawrence Power leads a session on concerto accompaniment. In 2006 students will also have the opportunity to hear composers, including James MacMillan and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, speak about their work.

In 2006, repertoire to be covered will include:

Peter Maxwell Davies
Julian Anderson

Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 3
Roman Carnival Overture
Tragic Overture
Viola Concerto
A Reel of Seven Fishermen
Poetry Nearing Silence
Pierrot Lunaire

Comments from previous participants

'An exceptional experience. Easily the best conducting course in the UK.'

'Excellent teachers, warm, friendly, supportive staff, wonderful atmosphere among participants.'

'I cannot think of any other opportunity for professional development that compares. One of the most professionally stimulating weeks I have ever had.'

'… dug deep under the surface, went straight to the heart of the matter and at the same time managed to make all of us conduct better (rather than filling us with self-doubt!).'

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