Conversations with Conductors (2021-2024)

Conversations with Conductors (2021-2024)

Rafael Payare

From the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal’s website: “Rafael Payare’s prodigious musicianship, technical brilliance and charismatic presence on the podium have made him one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. A graduate of the celebrated El Sistema music education program in Venezuela, Mr. Payare began his formal conducting studies in 2004 with José Antonio Abreu. Since winning the prestigious Malko International Competition for Young Conductors in Denmark in 2012, Maestro Payare’s career has advanced rapidly.”

Photo: Gerard Collett

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Kwame Ryan

From Maestro Ryan’s website:”Kwamé Ryan was born in Canada and grew up on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, where he received his early musical education. He completed his studies in the U.K. and Hungary, reading Musicology at Cambridge University. He held the position of General Music Director of Freiburg Opera between 1999 and 2003, and served as Musical and Artistic Director of the National Orchestra of Bordeaux Aquitaine between 2007 and 2013. As a guest conductor in Germany, he has conducted the Radio Orchestras of Stuttgart and Bavaria, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Staatsoper Saarbrücken and Staatsoper Stuttgart, while in France, he has worked at Opera de la Bastille, Opera de Lyon and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Work in the U.S and the U.K. has taken him to the Symphony Orchestras of Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Houston, Boston Lyric Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish Symphony and the London Philharmonia.”

Kwame Ryan is the Music Director Designate of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra which appointment he will take up in the 2024–2025 season.

Photo: Volker Renner

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Leonard Slatkin

From Maestro Slatkin’s website: “nternationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director Laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), Directeur Musical Honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL), Conductor Laureate of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO), and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria (OFGC). He maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author, and educator.

Slatkin has received six Grammy awards and 35 nominations. His latest recordings are Jeff Beal’s The Paper Lined Shack on Supertrain Records and Slatkin Conducts Slatkin, a compilation of pieces written by generations of his musical family, including three of his own compositions, on Naxos Records. Naxos has also recently remastered and reissued audiophile editions of his recordings of Gershwin’s and Rachmaninov’s orchestral works (with the SLSO) for Vox. Other Naxos releases include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Berlioz (with the ONL) and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams (with the DSO). In addition, he has recorded the complete Brahms, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO (available online as digital downloads).

The 2023-24 season includes engagements with the Oregon Symphony, Orquesta de València, Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland), ONL, SLSO, Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Mellon University Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, OFGC, Prague Symphony Orchestra, and Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa.

A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, Slatkin also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received the Prix Charbonnier from the Federation of Alliances Françaises, Austria’s Decoration of Honor in Silver, the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his debut book, Conducting Business. His second book, Leading Tones: Reflections on Music, Musicians, and the Music Industry, was published by Amadeus Press in 2017, followed by Classical Crossroads: The Path Forward for Music in the 21st Century (2021). Two volumes of a new series comprising essays that supplement the score-study process are scheduled for release by Rowman & Littlefield in 2024. He is also working on several new compositions.

Slatkin has conducted virtually all the leading orchestras in the world. As Music Director, he has held posts in New Orleans; St. Louis; Washington, DC; London (with the BBCSO); Detroit; and Lyon, France. He has also served as Principal Guest Conductor in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Cleveland.”

Photo: Yun Han

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Hilary Davan Wetton

Hilary Davan Wetton, Wikimedia Commons, CCSA-4.0, Fair use

Hilary Davan Wetton was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and at The Royal College of Music, London, where he was a pupil of Sir Adrian Boult and won the Ricordi Conducting Prize. From 1979 he was the Director of Music at St Paul’s Girls’ School in Hammersmith where his precursors were Holst, Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells. He is also the conductor of the Milton Keynes City Orchestra (with whom he has recorded Raff Symphonies for Hyperion), the Wren Orchestra, the City of London Choir and the Scottish Schools Orchestra. Appearances abroad have included concerts in America, Australia and Singapore, as well as in Europe. He was conductor of the Holst Singers from 1978 to 1990. Source: Hyperion Records


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