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Barber cello concerto at Barbican

This one event in my life is very close to my heart. Once I decided to enter the Gold Medal competition at the Barbican, part of the program was to choose a possible concerto to perform for  the final (even though I was not sure that I would get to that stage!)

I wanted to choose something unusual, exciting and with a wow factor….it came to me when I discovered the S.Baber cello concerto, straight away I knew that this piece was a winner.

My teacher was less convinced then me…” too hard “ , “ too complicated….technically, musically and to put together with the orchestra…it’s a mine field for the solo instruments like bassoon, clarinet, oboe etc…” I was very stubborn and I persisted in convincing him.

Once I knew I had made it to the final, the task was to enthuse as many of the musicians playing in the orchestra about the piece, sometimes a task that can be tricky especially with unknown and difficult work.

I worked very hard with the orchestra and the conductor, not to just sort out the ensemble problems but to try and inspire the key players in this adventure as much as I was inspired. I spent more time rehearsing the orchestral tutties than time I could have spent on my solo parts (which were far from easy).

The overall effect was a stunning performance from the orchestra, I was so very proud of the level of commitment and dedication they gave to this work and this gave me wings during the performance, I immersed myself in the moment and played like there was no tomorrow….I guess that’s why I was rewarded at the ceremony.

Thank you guys, still a very fond memory for me!

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