Conducting is something I used to pretend to do as a child to Herbert Von Karyan’s lead with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra’s recordings of Beethoven’s Symphonies! Wow what a rush! From there it was baby steps, School then College, University then Village Choirs & Ensembles, until I just stopped for many years.
Over the last few years I have been lucky enough to work with Long Ashton Orchestra and Redland Choir, both of Bristol, where under the personal guidance of Nicholas Bromilow, I have had some wonderful opportunities to re-develop and increase my skills in conducting both at rehearsal and during concert. I have also had some experience with Westerly Winds, again of Bristol, where I have been able to develop more rehearsal techniques under the guidance of Andy Loverage.
I have been trained towards the style of Russian Conductor Ilya Musin who’s minimal methods are subtle at best. I’m not as subtle in my style but he has been my strongest influence in recent years. I believe in a strong downbeat, good eye contact and subtle gestures.
Aside from the variety of technical and practical elements required to conduct successfully, by far the hardest hurdle for me to survive has been the stage-fright element. When you’re on the podium and such fears overwhelm you, it becomes a mental game of psychology to enable oneself to maintain clarity in your mind and authority over your orchestra.
I have found the study of conducting fascinating, discovering that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, in fact I have learned fairly recently that no two conductors are the same and no two recordings or performances are the same either, which has brought some relief in my practice.
Recent performances include:
Don Giovanni Mozart
Steppes of Asia Borodin
Zadock the Priest Handel
Magic Flute Mozart
Redmaids’ High School 2019
St Albans 2018
Bath Abbey 2001
© Sacha Atkinson 2019-2020. All rights reserved.
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