A Mic on the Podium

Conductors – who are they, what do they do and how did they get to become a conductor? On this podcast, I conduct conversations with a distinguished list of maestri to find out all the answers. Each week, I talk to a different conductor and discover the journey each of them has taken towards the podium along with secrets from their teachers and mentors. At the end of each episode, every conductor will be asked the same set of 10 questions by me, Michael Seal. Their answers reveal what sort of person they are and what makes them tick.So if you’ve ever been curious about the person waving the baton, or you are a real conducting geek, then this should be a fascinating insight in to what it takes to become a maestro.

There’s a new episode every Sunday evening – and they’re all available to download from Podbean, Spotify or Apple.

10 April – Episode 1: Introduction and Background

In this “taster” episode, I explain how this podcast came to happen, who was involved and what the format will be for the upcoming episodes.I also take the “10 question” challenge at the end!

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12 April – Episode 2: Andrew Litton

Andrew Litton takes us from his earliest experiences growing up in New York through to his time as being Music Director in Bournemouth, Dallas and Bergen. I found out what it was like to commute from the US to Norway, how to conduct and play the piano simultaneously and what being assistant to Rostropovich was like. A chat I loved having, full of laughter, insight and bonhomie!

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19 April – Episode 3: Holly Mathieson

This week, I chatted to Holly Mathieson and found out what she wanted to be before she became a conductor, what being an Assistant Conductor entails and how conducting ballet feels like slalom skiing! A lovely chat and a very interesting path to the podium…

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26 April – Episode 4: Jac van Steen

No stranger to audiences all across Europe, my guest this week is Jac van Steen. I find out what it means to run an opera house in Germany, how teaching helps you to become a better conductor yourself and how to work on your technique while riding a bicycle!

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 3 May – Episode 5: Ed Gardner

Maybe this should be called ‘the cricket episode” as the subject of cricket does appear a few times? Ed Gardner tells us about his journey from chorister to conductor, which type of orchestra he would happily conduct more often and why he has an aversion to wood pigeons! A lovely chat with a good friend.

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10 May – Episode 6: Alpesh Chauhan

The young British conductor, Alpesh Chauhan, was born and raised in Birmingham where he was first spotted and nurtured by the CBSO. I find out how those early days shaped his career, what he learned from talking to orchestral players and why rehearsing in a second language can sometimes be rather embarrassing!

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17 May – Episode 7: Martyn Brabbins

I first met Martyn Brabbins thirty years ago and have always loved chatting to him. I find out what studying in Soviet Russia was like, what differences there are in approach between orchestras in Europe and Japan and what conducting 990 performers was like. A very interesting journey and true gentleman! 

Download from – Podbean | Spotify | Apple