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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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"?!
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!
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!
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.
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?!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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....
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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..
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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...
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...
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!
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!