Ooops. We’re running a little behind here on the OAE Blog. Leaves online, or something… Anyway, here’s a speed interview with Barnard Labadie who conducted us last week at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and on tour as well.

What/when was your big breakthrough?
Conducting Messiah with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1999 led to a series of invitations with most of the great American orchestras within a few years.

What do you fear the most?
Like many of my colleagues in our business: not having enough rehearsal time!

Which mobile number do you call the most?
I live without one and so do many of my friends, so I honestly don’t know!

What – or where – is perfection?
In a glass of Brunello di Montalcino 1997.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Miles in the movie “Sideways”.  Nobody can talk about Pinot Noir like him.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Everything Christmas.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
Nelson Mandela. No need to explain.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
I need half an hour to find a C major chord on a piano.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Life is a bit like conducting: you might plan ahead, have great ideas, move your arms endlessly, at the end of the day, you don’t make any sound… You need others to do it for you. Trust is everything.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
The slow movement from Brahms’ Second Piano Quartet.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
I have admired this orchestra and many of its players for many many years, so I was ecstatic when the invitation came. Christmas is finally here!