You may have read recently about our new Apprentice Conductor, Eduardo Portal. Well, Eduardo, whose official title is the  Melgaard OAE Young Conductor, recently started his year with the OAE, and here are his first impressions:

First day of rehearsals, my first day as assistant conductor of the OAE. The orchestra starts to play. What a sound! It is so alive! What is that wave moving around the rehearsal venue? Is it wind? Or water? Something must be happening, something that I have never experienced before. What is it? It feels like an injection of life inside my veins; my adrenaline goes up to high levels. I cannot remain sitting on my chair, I Eduardo Portalmust stand up, my excitement is too much to be sitting down. There I go, walking around the players and trying to find out what that phenomenon is. Is it the period instruments which cause such an effect? Maybe it is the players, or perhaps the conductor, it could also be the piece!

Now I know what it is. It is their way of making music! They all move together and produce this wonderful wave of sound going up and down as the piece evolves. Their phrasing is stunning! They all feel the direction of the music in the same way and contribute to create a wonderful and dynamic performance. It is as if the music were happening in this moment for the first and last time in the history, as if the piece were being composed while played and at the same time, being mastered with a superb performance.

The rehearsal ends and I approach the conductor and the players. They all seem so keen to talk to me! Any questions have a really interesting answer. The knowledge that they share with me is indescribable. Fortunately there will be more opportunities, a whole year of rehearsals and concerts to learn and ask. My position as assistant conductor of the OAE is an amazingly lucky one.

Eduardo Portal

Read about Eduardo’s appointment in this Evening Standard article.

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