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Episode 43 - Ben Gernon

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I have known Ben Gernon since he was a teenager and have always loved chatting to him about music and conducting. I discovered what lessons with Sir Colin Davis were like, which orchestra saw him through his "nappy years and on to being a toddler", and which famous conductor once gave him invaluable advice whilst he was eating a doner kebab!

If you would like to hear the Patreon exclusive mini-episode and support the podcast, why not subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/amiconthepodium, and for the price of a glass of wine once a month, you can access two new series of interviews, articles, and much more.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to make a one-off donation, go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/a-mic-on-the-podium and any donation you make will be greatly appreciated!

Episode 42 - Ludovic Morlot

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Ludovic Morlot and I had such a lovely time chatting and what a charming gentleman he is. I discover what rather unconventional methods he was taught in his very first conducting lessons, how the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland had an effect on his career, and which two conductors he likens to Federer and Nadal!

If you would like to support the podcast, why not subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/amiconthepodium, and for the price of a glass of wine once a month, you can access two new series of interviews, articles, and much more.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to make a one-off donation, go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/a-mic-on-the-podium and any donation you make will be greatly appreciated!

 

Episode 41 - Nicholas Collon

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Nicholas Collon is a very popular conductor across the UK, Europe, and beyond. He is also very enjoyable to chat with. I found out why he took up the viola, why the Aurora Orchestra first decided to play from memory and he has a very surprising and rather apt choice of final drink! 
The Patreon exclusive mini-episode can be found here (https://www.patreon.com/amiconthepodium) along with lots of other new content when you subscribe.

Episode 40 - Karl-Heinz Steffens

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Karl-Heinz Steffens played the clarinet in two of the greatest orchestras in the world before becoming a highly successful conductor. I found out what advice Daniel Barenboim gave him, why playing for Claudio Abbado was so special and I hear possibly my favourite answer so far to the question "what item could could you not leave home without when travelling abroad?"!

Episode 39 - Sian Edwards

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A very honest and candid chat with a lovely person - Sian Edwards and I discussed so many topics from her successful conducting and teaching career. I discovered how Neeme Järvi shaped her early career, why she still has a piece of broken chair in her study and I got to hear an amazing story about Carlos Kleiber that I had never heard before!

Episode 38 - Domingo Hindoyan

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The Venezuelan conductor, Domingo Hindoyan, is rising quickly to the top of the conducting profession. I found out what is was that made him fall in love with Liverpool, what he has had with him ever since he left Venezuela at the age of 19 and how his parent's background helped him become Assistant to Daniel Barenboim. A very pleasant chat to a fellow violinist!

Episode 37 - Rumon Gamba

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I had such a lovely time chatting to the British conductor and fellow cricket fan, Rumon Gamba. He told me where his name comes from, he was very candid about his experiences as a Music Director and I found out what a "screaming party" is!

Episode 36 - Sakari Oramo

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Sakari Oramo has been a friend since he became the Music Director of the CBSO in 1998. We reminisced about his 10 years in Birmingham and found out what "Bluffer's Guide" he wished had been written to prepare him for his time in the UK and I found out who called him "a terrible goose"! Two friends catching up and chatting about the past, the present and the future....

Episode 35 - Roderick Cox

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Young American conductor, Roderick Cox, is definitely making a name for himself in the conducting world. We talk about his charitable foundation and its origins, we get really technical over one passage of The Rite of Spring and I found out how American Football had an influence on his conducting career path!

Episode 34 - Stephen Bell

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Stephen Bell has been a friend for many years and always fun to chat with. I find out what we have to thank the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for, what method he uses to learn over 400 new works in a season and what his 6 year old daughter is better at than him! A really enjoyable chat with a lovely gent.

Episode 33 - Kirill Karabits

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Kirill Karabits has been Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra since 2009 and loves them dearly. We discussed how important having the right agent at the beginning of your career is, what he learned from assisting Ivan Fischer and why conducting Beethoven Symphony No.5 is so bloody hard!

Episode 32 - Nicholas Daniel

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Nicholas Daniel can be described as a musical polymath - conductor, oboist, teacher, commissioner of new music and a lovely friend to have a chat with. We discussed (among many topics!) why conducting at Snape Maltings can be tough, why Shostakovich is great for youth orchestras and how Sir Simon Rattle and a gamelan are linked to performing Sibelius Symphony No.5!

Episode 31 - Jonathon Heyward

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What a charming person Jonathon Heyward is! We discussed the importance of the correct advice after winning a competition, what being a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic entails and how seeing a performance of Don Giovanni changed his career path forever!

Episode 30 - Ilan Volkov

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I really enjoyed this chat as Ilan Volkov was fun, friendly and fascinating. We discussed what programming entails and how enjoyable it can be, what the demands of curating and producing your own festival are and we both agreed that performing Messiaen can be frightening!

Episode 29 - JoAnn Falletta

 

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Chatting with JoAnn Falletta was a real joy - very warm, friendly and open. We discussed how rewarding it can be working with amateur musicians, how inspirational Leonard Bernstein was as a teacher and how working in Hawaii introduced her to one of her favourite pastimes! 

Episode 28 - Jiří Rožeň

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Jiří Rožeň is a young Czech conductor who is a rising star in the music world. We chatted about his many years of study across Europe, what it was like to participate in a masterclass with Daniele Gatti and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and what it means to be a left-handed conductor! A charming young man to chat with.

Episode 27 - Barry Wordsworth

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Barry Wordsworth is such a gentleman and a real pleasure to chat with. We discussed the whole process of putting a new ballet together as a conductor, what great pieces of advice he got from Sir Adrian Boult and why living opposite a swimming pool was a stroke of luck!

Episode 26 - Thierry Fischer

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Thierry Fischer was a late starter as a conductor but has more than made up for that. I found out how inspired by Harnoncourt he was, what lesson he learned when working with Martha Argerich and what piece of music made him lose sleep! A very warm and charming gentleman.

Episode 25 - Mark Wigglesworth

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Mark Wigglesworth is a conductor who thinks hard about what he does, either as a conductor or as a writer. We discussed the subject of agents and managers, whether early teachers had a positive or negative influence and what orchestral musicians "expect" of conductors!

Episode 24 - Cristian Macelaru

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Cristian Macelaru was warm, honest and fascinating to talk to. I find out what Pierre Boulez told him about musical structure, what advice a Bass Player in Philadelphia gave him and we discussed whether it was possible for an orchestra and conductor to fall in love with each other whilst "speed dating"?!

Episode 23 - Paul McCreesh

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Paul McCreesh is a good talker and, I think it is fair to say, did not pull any punches. We chatted about why conductors should be more honest, why you should employ a good harpsichord player and why there should be some chocolate in your suitcase!

Episode 22 - Nathalie Stutzmann

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I really enjoyed my chat with Nathalie Stutzmann - lots of laughter between wise words and a lot of insight. I found out what it was like meeting Jorma Panula for the first time, which word she would like to see dropped when describing herself and others and which instrument was deemed "inappropriate" for her to learn!

BONUS EPISODE 1: Bonus extra material on Patreon.com

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This special episode announces the start of two new mini-series of podcasts and different ways of supporting the show. From today, listeners can subscribe on patreon.com/amiconthepodium and have a chance to hear these two new series along with becoming involved in the way the podcast is made in the future.

Episode 21 - Bramwell Tovey

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Bramwell Tovey has had a truly international career as a conductor and composer. I found out how the Salvation Army impacted his early life, how to pronounce 'Gerontius' and what is was like meeting Leonard Bernstein. We also get to hear extracts from one of his works in this episode which was possibly my favourite interview so far?!

Episode 20 - Matt Dunkley

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A fascinating and very enjoyable chat! Matt Dunkley has spent most of his career in the studio, working on over 200 movies. We talk about what challenges a conductor faces in film sessions, working with superstar session musicians and he gave a very suprising answer to how he studies his scores! 

Episode 19 - Vasily Petrenko

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Vasily Petrenko is a busy conductor worldwide and I really enjoyed talking with him about a wide range of topics. We discussed the state of music education in the UK, I found out how Sir Neville Marriner helped him early in his career and how close he came to becoming an Olympic swimmer! 

Episode 18 - Sir Mark Elder

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Over a long and distinguished career, Sir Mark Elder has conducted pretty much everywhere. We chat about conducting in new concert halls and the challenges that can bring, how being left-handed has impacted on his career and I find out about his relationship with Sir Simon! Always a pleasure to chat with him and this proved no different.

Episode 17 - Karina Canellakis

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A lovely chat between two ex-professional violinists. Karina Canellakis has risen quickly to being one of the most sought after conductors. We have a frank and open discussion about conducting our colleagues, what it was like learning from players of the Berlin Philharmonic and why Simon Rattle terrified her! I really enjoyed our chat together.

Episode 16 - Leonard Slatkin

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Leonard Slatkin is a Grammy award winning conductor, as well as a composer and author. I find out what conducting the Last Night of the Proms was like after the 9/11 attacks, how he came to know Frank Sinatra and we get to hear possibly the most amazing answer to the "final meal" question ever! A really enjoyable chat with lots of laughter....

Episode 15 - Ryan Bancroft

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Young American conductor, Ryan Bancroft, shot to fame after winning the 2018 Malko Competition and is soon to become Chief Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. I find out why the Mozart Requiem means so much to him, what it was like being taught by Jac van Steen and about his time dancing to Ghanaian music!

Episode 14 - Christopher Seaman

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In a chat full of charm and laughter, Christopher Seaman tells us how he went from being Assistant Triangle with the NYO to being Chief Conductor of a BBC orchestra. He also tells me why making friends with the timpanist of an orchestra is not a bad idea and why wearing spectacles can sometimes be fraught with danger! A great chat with a lovely man.

Episode 13 - Wayne Marshall

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Wayne Marshall has a multi-faceted career as a conductor, pianist and organist all over the world. I found out how his journey to the podium started at Glyndebourne, how Stevie Wonder influenced him in his early years and why it is best to avoid him during a thunder storm!

Episode 12 - Barbara Hannigan

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In this special "feature-length" episode, I chat with Barbara Hannigan - conductor, mentor, soprano and all-round musical polymath. I find out how she first started to conduct, how working with the greatest conductors in the world has helped her and that both of our lives have been influenced by meeting the "Yoda" of the conducting world! This was a real joy and an honour to chat with her.

Episode 11 - Daniel Harding (Part 2)

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We had too much to talk about so here is the second half of my chat with Daniel Harding. I find out what his early years as a conductor were like, why conductors should be more like Sir Anthony Hopkins and why his life is reaching new stratospheric heights. 

Episode 10 - Daniel Harding (Part 1)

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This really was a fun way to spend two hours!  In a special two-part episode, I have a very frank and open chat with Daniel Harding.  In Part One, I find out the differences between his two mentors (Claudio Abbado and Simon Rattle), how he first got to meet Simon Rattle and why conductors should be more like Tiger Woods.  Part 2 will follow very soon..

Episode 9 - Simon Halsey

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After nearly 30 years of knowing Simon Halsey, it was lovely to just sit and chat about all things music and conducting.  I found out which famous family had a hand in his musical history, how a conversation with Simon Rattle changed his life and why conducting lessons with one teacher in particular could be very revealing!

 

Episode 8 - John Wilson

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Chatting with John Wilson is always a delight! In this episode, I find out how his orchestra came to be born, why he loves recording so much and I briefly get to discuss one of my other passions with him, wristwatches.

Episode 7 - Martyn Brabbins

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I first met Martyn Brabbins thirty years ago and have always loved chatting to him. I find out what studying in Soviet Russia was like, what differences there are in approach between orchestras in Europe and Japan and what conducting 990 performers was like. A very interesting journey and true gentleman! 

Episode 6 - Alpesh Chauhan

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The young British conductor, Alpesh Chauhan, was born and raised in Birmingham where he was first spotted and nurtured by the CBSO. I find out how those early days shaped his career, what he learned from talking to orchestral players and why rehearsing in a second language can sometimes be rather embarrassing!

Episode 5 - Ed Gardner

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Maybe this should be called 'the cricket episode" as the subject of cricket does appear a few times?

Ed Gardner tells us about his journey from chorister to conductor, which type of orchestra he would happily conduct more often and why he has an aversion to wood pigeons! A lovely chat with a good friend.

Episode 4 - Jac van Steen

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No stranger to audiences all across Europe, my guest this week is Jac van Steen.  I find out what it means to run an opera house in Germany, how teaching helps you to become a better conductor yourself and how to work on your technique while riding a bicycle!  We also find out what a charming and warm gentleman he is...

Episode 3 - Holly Mathieson

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This week, I chatted to Holly Mathieson and found out what she wanted to be before she became a conductor, what being an Assistant Conductor entails and how conducting ballet feels like slalom skiing! A lovely chat and a very interesting path to the podium...

Episode 2 - Andrew Litton

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Andrew Litton takes us from his earliest experiences growing up in New York through to his time as being Music Director in Bournemouth, Dallas and Bergen. I found out what it was like to commute from the U.S. to Norway, how to conduct and play the piano simultaneously and what being assistant to Rostropovich was like. A chat I loved having, full of laughter, insight and bon homie! 

Episode 1 - Introduction and background.

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Welcome to a brand new podcast, devised and presented by me, Michael Seal. Each week I interview a distinguished conductor and get them to tell us everything from their earliest musical experiences to their favourite food and drink.

In this "taster" episode, I explain how this podcast came to happen, who was involved and what the format will be for the upcoming episodes.

I also take the "10 question" challenge at the end!

Play this podcast on Podbean App