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Guide to Conductors

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ValladolidDvořák, Rasch, Elgar

Dvořák, Rasch, Elgar
Dvořák, Rasch, Elgar
Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León; Andrew Gourlay

EspelkampKonzert für Junge Leute „Peer Gynts fantastische Abenteuer“

North West German Philharmonic; Mihhail Gerts; Christian Schruff
Ever wondered what a conductor's life is like? We've interviewed some of the world's top conductors to give you an insight. Undoubtedly, between musical rediscoveries, creating new ensembles and their educational projects, conductors are leading figures who shape the classical music stage today.

Full of natural bounce: Santtu-Matias Rouvali

Santtu-Matias Rouvali © Kaapo Kamu
Gothenburg Symphony's new Chief Conductor is young, Finnish and a bundle of restless energy. He doesn't eat before rehearsals, and tells the orchestra what he wants through motion more than words.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the Orchestre Métropolitain

Yannick Nézet-Séguin © François Goupil
Yannick Nézet-Séguin discusses the qualities of his Orchestre Métropolitain ahead of their big European tour. 

Ed Gardner: Bringing Bergen to the world

Edward Gardner conducts the Bergen Philharmonic © Helge Skodvin
The conductor talks streaming and touring as he starts his third season with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra 

Creating the moment: Markus Stenz

Markus Stenz © Kaupo Kikkas
Ahead of his live-streamed performance of Beethoven's Ninth with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, we caught up with conductor Markus Stenz. 

Sir John Eliot Gardiner on Monteverdi

© Sim Cannetty-Clarke
Read our wide-ranging interview about Monteverdi's operas, their cultural context, performing them today and why they remain as contemporary and fresh as when they were written four centuries ago.

Interview with François-Xavier Roth

François-Xavier Roth © Marco Borggreve
Ahead of Gürzenich Orchestra's live stream on 3rd October, we caught up with Chief Conductor François-Xavier Roth. 

A sense of theatre: Sir Antonio Pappano

Sir Antonio Pappano conducting Fidelio in Rome © Riccardo Musacchio & Flavio Ianniello
Sir Antonio Pappano reflects on recent performances of Fidelio and Norma and how his Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia has evolved and the difficulties staging Verdi.

Paavo Järvi: Musical ambassador

Paavo Järvi © Kaupo Kikkas
Where is home for Paavi Järvi? The life of an international conductor consists of airports and hotel-hopping and Järvi’s passport is more well-travelled than most. 

Valery Gergiev: “I'm a relatively busy man”

Valery Gergiev conducts the Munich Philharmonic, BBC Proms 2016 © BBC | Chris Christodoulou
Ahead of his appearance with the Munich Philharmonic at this year’s Prom 4, Valery Gergiev gave Bachtrack a wide-ranging interview, discussing the Mariinsky, Russian music, education and much more.

Sincerity itself: Semyon Bychkov on Tchaikovsky

Semyon Bychkov © Musacchio Ianniello
Tchaikovsky has a special place in the heart of Russians. Semyon Bychkov caught the bug at an early age. In an interview, he reflects on what Tchaikovsky means to him, and the man behind the notes. 

Uniting through music: Q&A with Marin Alsop

Marin Alsop © Adriane White
Period instruments, Rusty Musicians and inspiring a new generation of female conductors: just a few topics touched upon in our interview. 

Witnessing history: Vladimir Ashkenazy

Vladimir Ashkenazy © Keith Saunders
Before launching his series Voices of Revolution with the Philharmonia Orchestra to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Ashkenazy recalls his experiences as a young Soviet pianist, his memories of Shostakovich and his witnessing history in the making.

Rolling his sleeves up: Ed Gardner in Bergen

Ed Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic © Helge Skodvin
As commutes go, London to Bergen has its attractions. Nearly a year into the post of chief conductor at the Bergen Philharmonic, Ed Gardner has a bounce in his step and exudes genuine enthusiasm for the job.

A Peruvian in Oslo: Miguel Harth-Bedoya

© Helene Ulrichsen
Norwegian Radio Orchestra Chief Conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya talks to us about Brahms, Schumann, touring and playing Latin American music in Norway (and Grieg, of course).

From Brno to London: Jakub Hrůša

Jakub Hrůša © Marina Vidor
Last week, Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša was appointed as one of two new Principal Guest Conductors of the Philharmonia Orchestra from the 2017/18 season. Before the announcement, Jakub talked to us about his experience working with the orchestra thus far and about Smetana’s Má vlast which he conducts next season.
Mahler Conducting Competition of Bamberg Symphony
Entry deadline:
Not yet open
Next competition: September 2019
Bamberg, Germany
Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition
Entry deadline:
20 April 2018
Finals: 20 - 22 November 2018
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Solti International Conducting Competition
Next competition:
2019, Frankfurt
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Sweet and savoury from the LPO

Andrés Orozco-Estrada © Martin Sigmund
An intelligently planned and generous programme featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Peter Donohoe in two neo-classical works by Stravinsky paired with two German Romantic works.
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Sumptuous Barber with Weilerstein and the Cleveland

Alisa Weilerstein © Roger Mastroianni courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra
A rousing Dvořák Symphony no. 8 and that composer’s The Water Sprite filled out a highly satisfying performance.
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Trifonov impresses, the LPO's Stravinsky doesn't

Daniil Trifonov © Dario Acosta | DG
Trifonov's rock solid technique is applied with finesse to one of the world's most popular concerti; Stravinsky's Fairy's Kiss doesn't transfer well to the concert platform.
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Forever young: Blomstedt leads LA Phil in Beethoven and Sibelius

Herbert Blomstedt © U.K. Lengemann
Blomstedt’s lean and athletic performances of Beethoven’s and Sibelius’ second symphonies go to show that age really is just a number. 
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StockholmElgar - Cockaigne (November 2013)

Elgar: Cockaigne (In London Town) - overture for orchestra, Op.40
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Sakari Oramo

StockholmTchaikovsky Symphony no. 5

Tchaikovsky: Symphony no. 5 in E minor, Op.64
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Peter Oundjian

BergenProkofiev, Symphony No 3

Prokofiev: Symphony no. 3 in C minor, Op.44
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Andrew Litton

BergenElgar, Cello Concerto with Orchestra

Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Edward Gardner; Leonard Elschenbroich