It’s been a special but busy week, full of events & anniversaries. After our initial tutti rehearsal on Sunday for the Ady Ensemble’s Brahms Recording Project, we’ve continued this week with some sectional rehearsals, which will be followed by our recording session over next weekend. Wednesday also involved a sad memory for myself & the Ipswich City Symphony, which you will see why from the second picture, and yesterday marked three years since Ady’s last recording venture, recording two new works by Australian women composers 4MBS Classic FM. One of the recordings from that day, Corrina Bonshek’s “Dreams of the Earth”, was commercially released back in February of this year – something that none of us involved had expected to happen. Ten years ago today I attended my Masters graduation ceremony Queensland Conservatorium, which had given me the inspiration & confidence to form & perpetuate the Ady Ensemble. By a strange coincidence, six years ago today also involved a conversation with Corrina, which thanks to her would see me take a path where I would conduct overseas – something that I would only have dreamt of otherwise. But the week is not over yet, and the Ady Ensemble will finish its current project over this upcoming weekend, & the ensemble looks forward to sharing the finished product with you.

#conducting #orchestra #symphony #adyensemble #adrianhead #corrinabonshek #brahms #elaineseeto #4mbsclassicfm #qldcon

Thanks to all of the Adyophiles who attended our first rehearsal of the Ady Ensemble’s Brahms Recording Project. After having to delay our first instance of this project back in June, it was with some relief and joy that we were able to recommence this project now, six months later. Let’s hope this time that we can see this project to the end, and finish up with a recording of Brahms’ 2nd Symphony. As is traditional for the ensemble, Tim Tams were available. (photos: Helen Brereton) #conductor #conducting #orchestra #adyensemble #adrianhead #brahms #brahmssymphony2 #symphony

So today was the third and final concert conducting the Brisbane City Pops Orchestra. It was also an important date for me personally today, as it was fifteen years ago today that my father-in-law passed away. A lifelong fan of the Aston Villa F.C., I paid tribute to him with pocket kerchiefs, the maroon and light blue of the club, & have to say that there were a few moments during the performance that I thought of him. My thanks to the BCPO’s players for having me back, and thank you to all of the singers who have been involved with our three concerts. It’s been a pleasure making music with you 🌺

Another great audience turnout for the Brisbane City Pops Orchestra last Saturday in Kenmore, for our second concert together.

With Monday night being our last rehearsal for this concert series, the orchestra also had a bit of a Christmas bash, and gave me a kind token of their appreciation.

We’ll have our final concert together this Sunday in Southport, and I’ve enjoyed all three concerts, especially the Strauss and Mascagni that we’ve done with the chorus.

But for me that’s not the end of the year, as I’ll be working with the Ady Ensemble, recording Brahms’ 2nd Symphony, for what will then be my final project for the year.

It’s 2:30am and I can’t go back to sleep.
After the initial tiredness returning from a long day of travel, I find myself experiencing the quiet content that comes from a good rehearsal or, as is the case here, a great concert. I’d like to thank the Brisbane City Pops Orchestra for their playing at yesterday’s performance in Maleny, Leslie Martin for her wonderful songs, and Margaret Taylor and the delightful Maleny Singers, who joined us for Verdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, Der Fledermaus, and Mascagni’s Easter Hymn – which as the concert’s finale resulted in the standing ovation kindly received from the audience. This was my first trip to Maleny in thirty years; I hope it won’t take quite so long again to return. Thank you 

The most civilised way to wait for a bus.
Heading up to Maleny with the Brisbane City Pops Orchestra, for our performance this afternoon with the Maleny Singers, including works of Verdi, Strauss Jnr, Tchaikovsky, and Mascagni. #conductor #conducting #brisbanecitypopsorchestra #adrianhead #malenysingers

My last rehearsal tonight before next weekend’s performance with the Brisbane City Pops Orchestra. I have to say that this one gets at me every time; right up there with Gesualdo’s calls of “salva me”. I’m so looking forward to conducting this, along with some Tchaikovsky and Der Fledermaus #conductor #conducting #orchestra #bcpo #adrianhead #tchaikovsky #straussjr #mascagni

I’ve just got home late this evening, after a rewarding rehearsal conducting the #brisbanecitypopsorchestra through Mascagni’s Easter Hymn, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, and excerpts from Der Fledermaus, to find this in my letterbox: the recording of #bernardhaitink conducting his final concert. I ordered this when he was alive; now it arrives after he has left us. His influence on my younger me to conduct was very important, & now that it has arrived, after an evening doing what I love, is particularly sad, and I’d be lying if I’d said that I haven’t shed some tears.
Thank you again, Maestro  #conductor #conducting #orchestra #adrianhead #bcpo #mascagni #easterhymn #derfledermaus #tchaikovsky #nutcrackersuite

Adieu, Maestro

It is with a very heavy heart that I have just heard of the passing of Maestro Bernard Haitink. Who only passed away yesterday, at the age of 92.

It is eerie to know that it was only yesterday that I was listening to some of his Bruckner recordings; his recording of the 7th Symphony from 1978, then going back to the 7th, 8th – and getting halfway through the 9th – from his original Bruckner cycle with the (now Royal) Concertgebouw Orchestra.

I remember the first time that I saw Bernard conduct, which was a recording of him conducting the Concertgebouw in a performance of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. It was from this experience, all those decades ago, that my interest in Mahler started, discovering the remaining symphonies before I had left high school. My small tale of inspiration is I’m sure only one of many, some more personally connected to him than my own.

The recording from his final public performance, where he conducted Bruckner’s 7th with the Nederlands Radio Symphony, was only released a couple of weeks ago. I ordered my copy of the recording when he was alive, and now it will arrive after he has gone. Its arrival will be almost Mahlerian, mixed with both sadness and irony. The recording will be cherished, along with the many others that I have of his.

Adieu, Maestro. You had and will continue to inspire generations of musicians and listeners. Your departure is something that will take some time to completely take in. Thank you, and may you rest peacefully 

While the Tchaikovsky 5 sight-read may have been last Sunday, it’s back to work for my other commitments. The last two days have seen me preparing and adapting works for my three performances with the Brisbane City Pops later this year. Preparations for the reboot of the Brahms Recording Project continue, as do discussions for another Ady Ensemble project next year www.adrianhead.com #conductor #conducting #orchestra #adrianhead #adyensemble #tchaikovsky #brahms #bcpo #brisbanecitypopsorchestra