Conversations with Conductors

In these conversations, distinguished conductors talk about their new recordings, their art, and much more. These musicians love what they do and are most eager to share their art with everybody. Let your family and friends know about these conversations, which they can listen to or download anytime here and on our apps.

Jeanette Sorrell

From the Apollo’s Fire website: “GRAMMY®-winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most compelling interpreters of Baroque and Classical repertoire. She studied conducting under Robert Spano, Roger Norrington and Leonard Bernstein at the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals. As a harpsichordist, she studied with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam and won both First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, competing against over 70 harpsichordists from Europe, Israel, the U.S., and the Soviet Union. Sorrell is the founder and artistic director of Apollo’s Fire.”

Photo: Roger Mastrioanni

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Cory Evans

Dr. Cory Evans is Director of Choral Activities at Utah State University. From the University’s website: “The Utah State University Chamber Singers consists of versatile and dedicated undergraduate student musicians. The ensemble has garnered an international reputation of artistic integrity, exciting programming, and musical precision, performing to critical acclaim throughout the United States, Russia, Spain, Mexico, Austria, Italy and, most recently, for the Beijing International Choral Festival in Beijing, China.” In this podcast Rob Kennedy speaks with Cory about the choral music program at Utah State University.

Photo: Utah State University Music Department

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Sir Stephen Cleobury

From their website: “A double-disc set of orchestral, choral and organ music by one of the most distinguished English composers of the 20th-century. Herbert Howells’ An English Mass is presented by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge with the Britten Sinfonia, recorded in the sublime acoustic of King’s College Chapel. Alongside the work is the magnificent orchestrated Te Deum from the Collegium Regale service, and a premiere recording of the Magnificat from the same service, orchestrated by John Rutter. For both these recordings, the Choir and orchestra are joined additionally by the King’s College mixed voice choir, King’s Voices.” Rob Kennedy and Sir Stephen Cleobury chat about this recording which was the last one which Sir Stephen made before he died on November 22, 2019.

Photo: Sir Stephen Cleobury/Benjamin Ealovega

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Karina Canellakis

Karina Canellakis was our guest on the October 2019 edition of My Life In Music. A native of New York City, Maestra Canellakis is the Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Principal Guest Conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. The 2018/2019 season saw her conducting the First Night of the Proms in London and the Nobel Prize Concert in Stockholm. In this podcast, Karina and Rob Kennedy chat about her life as a musician and conductor.

Photo: Karina Canellakis/Mathias Bothor

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JoAnn Falletta

From her website: “Acclaimed by The New York Times as ‘one of the finest conductors of her generation’, JoAnn Falletta serves as the Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center. In this podcast which originally aired on My Life In Music in February 2019, Rob Kennedy speaks with JoAnn about her life as a musician and conductor.

Photo: JoAnn Falletta/Mark Dellas

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Anne Azéma

From Boston Camerata‘s website: “French-born vocalist, scholar and stage director Anne Anne Azéma has directed The Boston Camerata since 2008 and the French ensemble Aziman, which she founded, since 2005. Intensely engaged since her student days with the song repertoire of the Middle Ages, she is esteemed as a charismatic solo performer. But she is also widely admired for her creative skill in building and directing complete musical productions of varied styles and periods, both for her recital programs and for larger ensemble forces (concert and stage) in Europe and the United States.” In this podcast, Rob Kennedy and Anne Azéma discuss the Camerata and its CD Free America.

Photo: Anne Azéma/Simone Poltronieri

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Barnaby Smith

This octet of professional singers released a CD entitled Enchanted Isle in 2019. From their website: “A glorious journey through the musical landscape of Britain. The album features a broad range of music from John Tavener and Thomas Adès to Radiohead and Enya, interspersed with folk tunes, world premiere recordings and music from hit TV shows Game of Thrones and Harry’s Game.” Rob Kennedy and Barnaby Smith, Artistic Director of Voces8, chat about the recording, the ensemble, and more. You can listen to Enchanted Isle on Spotify.

Photo: Barnaby Smith/

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Drostan Hall

Founded in 2003 by conductor Drostan Hall, Camerata Chicago is a chamber orchestra equally at home in intimate settings and in larger music venues, performing the rich tapestry of diverse chamber orchestra repertoire, including newly commissioned works. Camerata Chicago recently released an innovative recording of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Dan McHugh and Drostan Hall, Music Director and Founder of Camerata Chicago, discuss the CD and more.

Photo: Drostan Hall/Camerata Chicago

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Nicholas McGegan

From the Philharmonia Baroque Productions‘ website: “In a stunning world premiere recording, music director and conductor Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale, and an international cast of French Baroque opera stars present Jean-Philippe Rameau’s original 1745 version of Le Temple de la Gloire, with libretto by Voltaire.” Rob Kennedy and early music specialist and conductor Nicholas McGegan discusses his recording of Le Temple de la Gloire which is available on the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra label. You can also listen to it on Spotify.

Photo: Nicholas McGeghan/Steve Sherman

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Philip Cave

From the Linn Records website: “The Cantiones sacrae is an unusual work that stands quite apart from Schütz’s other published sacred music in both scale and style. The collection comprises forty Latin motets for four voices, plus a figured bass for continuo accompaniment (realized on this recording by lute, violone and organ), which was added later by the composer.” Choral conductor Philip Cave speaks with Rob Kennedy about this critically acclaimed recording.

Photo: Bob Barkany

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Fred Scott

From Chanticleer’s website: “Then and There, Here and Now, recorded at Skywalker Sound, features recordings of longtime ensemble favorites including works by Palestrina, Victoria, Stucky, Sametz, and Bates, and popular arrangements by Jennings, McGlynn and others. The recording represents the expansive aesthetic of Chanticleer’s repertoire, from the earliest music to the most recent, some of its favorite composers and arrangers, and the blend of male voices from soprano to contrabass that makes it unique.” Rob Kennedy and Chanticleer’s Music Director, Fred Scott, talk about the group and its 40th anniversary plans. You can listen to the CD on Spotify.


Photo: Lisa Kohler

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Rodney Wynkoop

Rodney Wynkoop holds the title of Professor of the Practice of Music at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. He teaches choral conducting and conducts the 50-voice Duke University Chorale and its Chamber Choir. Rodney has been at Duke since 1984. He was the conductor of the Duke Chapel Choir and its chamber choir, the Schola Cantorum, from 1989 until 2018. Dr. Wynkoop is also Conductor of the 150-voice Choral Society of Durham and its 32-voice Chamber Choir. He is the founder and director of the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham, a highly-acclaimed select choir. In this podcast, Rob Kennedy speaks with Dr. Wynkoop about his life and work as a choral conductor.

Photo: Andie Rea

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David Jernigan

From his website: “With an increasing interest in conducting, he is founder of multiple professional vocal ensembles, including the Raleigh Bach Soloists, whose frequent performances with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra have included complete period performances of major works by Bach and Handel. David’s love for the music of the Anglican Cathedral tradition has led him to train and conduct choirs involving child/youth choristers, enthusiastic amateurs, and fully professional, degreed musicians who perform on a world stage. He has conducted choral residencies at Westminster Abbey, Gloucester Cathedral, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. In addition, he has conducted services of choral evensong at St. George’s, Windsor, Ely Cathedral, Duke University Chapel, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, as well as Mass Internationale at Notre Dame, Paris.

Currently, David serves as the Organist/Choirmaster at Christ Church, Raleigh, NC, where he oversees a robust choral program that sings weekly services of choral eucharist and choral evensong in addition to domestic and international tours. A composer of choral music, David is published by Paraclete Press. In this podcast, Rob Kennedy and David spoke about the chorister training program David manages at Christ Church, Raleigh.

Photo: Christ Church, Raleigh

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