Course – Wellington College
Orchestral Performance – Royal Academy of Music
Date – Sunday 16th July 2000
Letter from course director:
“We seem some way from the decisions of seven years ago, ‘do we have enough people to start a course, and how are we to choose a programme based on very little knowledge of the participants?’
NSSO is now finding acclaim as a truly national orchestra for young musicians and the demand for places is putting taxing demands on the team of auditioners who this year auditioned all new members in 11 centres around Britain. For the second year running we have had to turn significant numbers away and in some sections there are seven people auditioning for one place.
As an educationalist and musician I feel NSSO should be able to accommodate the majority of those who wish to join us, but as the years go by it is inevitable that this is not happening with only one course. It has been the intention to look into the possibilities of running two orchestras and NSSO will be running a course at Easter.
One thing which is now very obvious is the need to audition all students in future. If we can find the finance and master the logistics, this is the only way to achieve our aims. Please help us find a major sponsor.
Jonathan Evans at John Catt Educational Ltd., would be delighted to hear from anyone who could give us a lead to a sponsor. We need to audition properly on a large scale. Finances allowing we can continue to evolve and develop as we should.
If you have any further thoughts or ideas I would be delighted if you could contact me.
David R. Evans”
Leader – Alice Murray
Alice Murray has played in IAPS and NSSO orchestras since 1991 and has just completed her A levels. She is intending to combine her music studies in a GAP year. She is in the regional finals of Rotary Young Musician of the Year, led the Bristol Schools’ Philharmonic Orchestra last year and played a Bach concerto at venues in Bristol and Italy. She is a member of the National Youth Choir, who are singing at the Proms in August and reached the finals of the BBC’s Young Choir Girl of the Year competition.
Conductor – Mark Shanahan
Mark Shanahan was born in Manchester of Irish parentage and studied at Chetham’s School of Music. He then studied at London University before joining the post-graduate conducting course at the Royal Academy of Music as the Sir Henry Wood conducting Scholar. He won the NAYO Conducting Competition for European Music Year.
His orchestra work includes broadcasts and concerts with the BBC, National Symphony orchestra of Ireland, RTE Concert Orchestra. He received invitations from the Stavanger Symphony, the Orchestre Filarmonica de Gran Canaria, Netherlands Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The English Northern Philharmonia and the Halle Orchestra.
Mark has conducted for Opera Ireland, English Touring Opera and the Wexford Festival. For Grange Park Opera he has conducted La Traviata and the acclaimed production of I Capuletti e I Montecchi, for Opera North La Traviata and The Queen of Spades and Don Giovanni for Royal Northern College of Music, where he is a visiting Fellow in Conducting. Since 1993 he has been associated with English National Opera as a guest conductor, particularly associated with Italian repertoire, where productions have included La Forza del Destino, the Barber of Seville, Leoncavallo and Puccini La Boheme, La Traviata, Otello and Tosca, described by the Times as ‘a musical triumph’.
Concert work has included performances at the Royal Festival, Barbican and Royals Albert Halls, London in wide-ranging repertoire from la Damnation de Faust and Verdi Requiem to Strauss Ein Heldenleben. He is a guest at the Opera and Orchestra Department at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Guest Professor of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, London and Visiting Conducting Fellow at the Royal Northern College of Music, Mancester.
Recent engagements have included Ernani for ENO and debuts at the National Reisopera, Holland, and La Fenice, Venice. Future plans include La Rondine at the Royal Northern College of Music, his return to the National Reisopera, Rigoletto at Opera North and L’Elisir d’Amore at Grange Park. This season saw a highly successful debut at Frankfurt Opera with Tosca, where he will return for pproductions of Death in Venice, and in 2007-08 Simon Boccanegra.
Mark has been associated with NSSO since 1997. He is an inspirational musician who demands the respect of students and coaches alike, and it has been a delight to welcome him back to the podium for this course.
Soloist – Ronan O’Hara
Divertimento for Brass and Percussion Op 47 – Trygve Madsen
Piano Concerto in A minor Op 16 – Edvard Grieg
Allegro molto moderato
Allegro moderato molte e marcato
Symphony No. 1 in A flat major Op 55 – Edward Elgar
Andante (nobilmente e semplice) – Allegro
Lento – Allegro