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Sir Andrew Davis to conduct our youth orchestra - for a whole term!


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Our present conductor, Susan Haig, told us yesterday at our last concert Sir Andrew Davis will be our conductor for the second term of our two term year! I couldn't believe it! Here is a bio I got fromt he intenret about him:

Sir Andrew Davis

Latest release

Janácek Sinfonietta

Andrew Davis, one of Britain's leading conductors, is continually in demand as a guest artist with leading European, North American and Far Eastern orchestras.

For many seasons a regular visitor to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (where he led successful cycles of Mozart, Strauss, Janácek and Tchaikovsky operas) he became their Musical Director in 1988. As guest conductor, recent seasons have included regular visits to the Chicago Lyric Opera; productions for The Metropolitan Opera, New York; San Francisco Opera; his acclaimed Bavarian State Opera debut (Peter Grimes, 1991) and Rosenkavalier for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1994/95.

His first appearance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra was in 1970. Appointed their Chief Conductor in 1989, he has maintained and enhanced the tradition of innovative programming which has given the orchestra its justly deserved reputation as one of the world's most versatile ensembles. He conducts many of their major projects, London Proms (including the famed Last Night) and tours, among them Hong Kong (1990), Japan (1990,1993, 1997), the United States (1995) and Europe (1992 and1996). In August 1997, he conducted their Salzburg Festival debut and in March 1998 was with them on their most recent North American tour.

Symphonic guest conducting over the past few seasons has included NDR Hamburg, Vienna Symphony, Boston and Toronto Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1995/96, he became Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; projects with them include a number of tours and a series of recordings for Finlandia Records. In addition to BBC Symphony Orchestra and Glyndebourne commitments, Andrew Davis's engagements have included the Met to conduct Hansel and Gretel (1996/7) and Capriccio (1997/8); return visits to leading orchestras in North America and Europe, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Washington, London Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightment, Berlin Staatskapelle, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, NDR Hamburg and Santa Cecilia Rome.

In September 2000, Andrew Davis will become Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Chicago Lyric Opera. At that point, he will relinquish his Glyndebourne Festival Opera and BBC Symphony appointments. The longest-serving Chief Conductor of the BBC SO since its founder Sir Adrian Boult, he will then become the first-ever Conductor Laureate and remain a familiar figure in London’s concert life, including Proms each year. He will also return to Glyndebourne as guest conductor.

In addition to his recording activities for Finlandia Records, one of the major undertakings for Andrew Davis has been the involvement with Teldec’s The British Line, a major CD series with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. This acclaimed series includes the Elgar Symphonies and Enigma Variations, the Vaughan Williams Symphony cycle and music by Delius, Britten and Tippett. Video releases on NVC Arts include a number of operas as well as the video of the Last Night of the Proms at the end of the 100th Season.

Andrew Davis received a Royal Philharmonic Society/Charles Heidsieck Music Award in 1991 for leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra through an outstanding Diamond Jubilee season, for his excellence in the operatic field particularly as the Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and for his championing of British music, especially the music of Tippett. In May 1995 he also accepted on behalf of Glyndebourne Festival Opera the Royal Philharmonic Society award for the best musical opera performance of 1994 for its production of Eugene Onegin. In recognition of his services to music, Andrew Davis was awarded the CBE in May 1992 and was knighted in January 1999.

The only thing I know so far thats on the (maybe) list is the Elgar Cello Concerto (full) and Stravinski's Firebird... But, he's choosing what we're going to play. I cant wait!!!



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That is so cool she is also your conductor. I knew of her being the conductor of the South Dakota Symphony, but didn't know anybody from here to live in South Dakota, nonetheless have her as the conductor?!

Anyway, well thats just awesome... So, to your questions. I find her very nice, kind, gentle. Her conducting style is good, but I dont see her conducting the NYP any time soon... I dont think she is as... "mean" as some other conductors are. You need that hatred from within (but know how to use it JUST right, and in a good way!) to lead an orchestra to hights never before seen. But then again, you dont need "hatred", just good, high standards and a persona that can get every members eyes looking.

Our orchestra likes her. She did a very well job... It was difficult, however, as she there were periods we hadn't seen her for like 3 or 4 (once I think) rehersals. She spent a lot of time in S.D. w/ ya'll. But thats good.

How do you find her? She'll do better and better as she gets more comfortable w/ her symphony. I dont know how long she is going to stick with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra... Hopefully a while... Unless of course Andrew Davis decides to stick permantly! Haha, kiddin'. (am I?......)

Yea, we had our last concert (two, back to back) yesterday (Saturday). It was fun, played at Massey Hall - a pretty awesome venue for classical music, but judas priest its so hard to play in! (The delay from say brass to percussion, because they're on either side, is almost a half second!!!) She actually wore a really nice attire... I'm sure you know what I mean when I speak of her fasion. Ahh, none the less, I shouldn't be talking about her like that. She's a great person, and very nice. Tell her sometime, please, Patrick, a second violinist, the one with the rainbow neclace (she noticed it one time and I think thats the only way she'll remember me! Ha) said hello. I would appreciate that so much.

Let me know how you think of Ms. Haig. By the way, this is her first season (year?) conducting S.D. right? I think her previous one was Windsor, the Canadian and smaller verion of Detroit.



Thanks, take care!

[This message has been edited by paganiniboy (edited 04-29-2002).]

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That's really cool! Which orchestra do you play in? I am really interested in your opinion about Susan Haig. She is the conductor of my orchestra, the South Dakota Symphony (incidentally, she missed our concert series this weekend because she was with your orchestra... the Toronto Youth Symphony?) She is also the coach of my string quartet. She has worked with some of the youth symphonies in this area, and I was wondering how your orchestra feels about her as a conductor. How long has she been your conductor?

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Thanks for your reply! It's really interesting to hear about our conductor from a different perspective... we in the orchestra talk about her plenty and it's cool to see how your opinions are similar and different.

Today we had a concert that ended the season, which was her first official season with us, but she has been a guest conductor here many times in the past few years. (This is my second season with the orchestra, so I don't know for how long she's been coming.) Our past conductor was the great Henry Charles Smith, and he and Susan are like night and day! Susan can be very tough on us and she really demands perfection.

I think you're right, she needs to warm up to us and get more comfortable with our orchestra... she's not mean at all but I wouldn't exactly call her kind either. Our orch is a semi-professional orch, with only 9 full time players and the rest all part time with other jobs. There are about 5 college students in the orch, including me, and we sometimes feel that she doesn't treat us with much respect because we are younger than everyone else. But she is great with the youth symphonies in town, so who knows.

I totally know what you mean about her fashion! It's always interesting to see what she'll wear... :-)


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LOL, yes her fashion indeed. smile.gif

Anyways, its funny how you mention she's very demanding and seems to treat the youngin's in the orch different from the elder ones. But, you say she's cool w/ the youth orchestras too that you know of. Funny... Yea, she's hardly demanding w/ our orchestra. Only once did she get nasty and sarcastic; the piccolo was dumb and couldn't count, I dont blame Ms. Haig.

Anyway, so tell me more about this "Night and Day" situation you had(have?) w/ Susan and Smith. What was your final repertoire for the concert and what do you think her of her interpretations?

We did Shosti 5 last semester as our major symphony... Hmm, over all it was perfect. We played like heaven was watching. But, I think it could have been a little bit better on say the last movement. She liked to not slow down when it called for it (audibly). Oh well, thats why i'm going in for conducting soon. Yippie!



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Though she's a very nice person and does have some good musical ideas, I have to slightly disagree with your opinion of her conducting, Patrick. I kind of find her 'circular conducting' a little difficult to follow at times. She hasn't been bad lately, but earlier in the year, certain days were horrible.

I think the real experience of the year was getting to work with Daniel Harding. (He was amazing - I loved his interpretations, his energy, his maturity and ability to take full reign of the orchestra without having to be 'mean'. By simply having a strong mutual respect between conductor and musician (even though we were just a youth orchestra) he was able to take strong and immediate leadership to draw the best out from each of us. Imagine being him: he's so young but has experienced so much; his entire life must be on fast-forward.

I think we played an amazing concert series this year, and I wish I had auditioned for this orchestra sooner (but I'm off to university next year. I don't know where, yet.) I would love to be around to experience Sir Andrew Davis. I've been told he can accoustically centre out a single violinist if they make a mistake, and he'll just look at you - and you know!

It's been a wonderful year with a fantastic repertoire, great coaches, and amazing people. I'm glad I thought I'd take the chance and try out, and I'm extremely appreciative to the YDP and Mr. Blackman for trusting me despite my horrible audition! It was an incredible experience.



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