Tag Archives | Musical Director Kevin Purcell

Feliz Navidad & A New Year Resolution

NYC_SkylineWhilst being privileged to take my son up to the top of The Empire State building in NYC the other day, I was watching the late afternoon sun sparkle on the water looking downtown toward the Statue of Liberty.  I was struck by the observation that, in that fleeting moment, all the elements were lining up for a fabulous photo; one simply having to wait for that moment when the effects of light and water intermingled to give the optimal photographic result.

Synonymously, it reminds me of the methodology of rehearsing orchestras to elicit the best performance. Making performances is little different to en plein air painting wherein the canvas objects are subject to shifting light densities.  Timing when to put the artist’s brush to the canvas is key to the artform – and what an artform!  For orchestral conductors, the deft touch needed to paint using the inestimable skill of orchestral players to achieve the perfect result is very difficult indeed.  Too often, as conductors, we fail subsequently asking the orchestra musicians to come back tomorrow whilst we practise our artistic insights over again.

My favorite conducting experiences this year have been with the Australian Discovery Orchestra for live-stream concerts.  My least favorite experiences – conducting university orchestras of varying abilities in the USA.  Someone questioned me recently why I found these student-level orchestras an unenviable proposition to work with, assuming my answer would in all likelihood be about the respective orchestras’ technical shortcomings. But that isn’t the problem. Continue Reading →

ABC 7:30 Report That I Had Never Seen!

In a slightly bizarre turn of events, I came across the above video from 2010 – made whilst working in a different capacity to MD’ing – of a fantastic story done by the ABC’s 7:30 Report team of Stephen Schwartz’s concerts in Australia.

Now I say bizarre, because I am in this video (and in a suit if you don’t mind) albeit briefly thank heavens, and had never seen it, let alone hardly remember answering questions on-camera (where did that analogy to Tiger Woods come from?).

What is truly great about this interview – other than the great man being his usual erudite self – are the contributions from the wonderful Silvie Paladino along with Aussie musical theatre composer, Drew Lane (talented man that he is).  There is also a very nice cameo of Liz Calloway briefly running through ‘Meadlowlark’ from The Baker’s Wife (pity this wasn’t given more airtime because it was extraordinary in-concert).

Hope you enjoy it.