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Sibelius 7 and What’s Difficult in Music

Conducting Electricity

I’ve spent the last few weeks visiting friends and family in New York, London, Salzburg and Belfast. It’s been wonderful catching up with their news, and also sharing mine, much of which has been about what we’ve been doing in Jacksonville. Invariably, everyone asks what the first concert of the New Year is. It’s a program that looks quite straightforward … Read More

Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel

Conducting Electricity

I’ve been in New York for the past week, auditioning singers for an opera and conducting at the Juilliard School. The city is gearing up for the holidays, with enticing displays appearing in the grand shop fronts of Fifth Avenue, and a sickly stream of canned musak beginning to percolate every public space. Thankfully our musical offerings at the Jacksonville … Read More

Elgar and “The Dream of Gerontius”

Conducting Electricity

The season is underway, and we’re getting ready for a weekend of concerts that feature a piece especially close to my heart. I doubt many of you know it since it’s rarely played outside the British Isles, yet it contains music that offers some of the concert hall’s deepest spiritual experiences. I’d like to spend this column telling you a … Read More

Summer’s Over, Time for the New Season!

Conducting Electricity

In 1922, the English poet AE Housman wrote: When summer’s end is nighing And skies at evening cloud, I muse on change and fortune And all the feats I vowed When I was young and proud. I always find the end of summer a deeply nostalgic time. Perhaps it’s the memories of going back to school as a child: that … Read More