christmas2016_advent

Advent begins when the announcer says so

A new series of blog posts for the festive season with a reflection on my start to the season: BBC Radio 3’s Choral Evensong.

My Christmas starts with Advent, signposted by the Sunday afternoon broadcast of Radio 3’s Choral Evensong. The broadcast is the starting point for a month of preparations, culminating in Radio 4’s Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve and a big warm Italian-influenced family get-together in leafy Purley soon after.

Both services hark back to childhood memories. My first experience of Nine Lessons was our school carol service – a seemingly grand affair in St Edmundsbury cathedral attended by every pupil and their parents. Those with a demonstrable ability to sing processed up the aisle to Once in Royal David’s City. Those without shuffled uncomfortably in the pews, bored by proceedings.

Read More

Niklas Hoffmann wins Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition 2016

Twenty-six year German conductor Niklas Hoffmann won the 2016 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition last night with a captivating combination of curiosity, boyish enthusiasm and self-assured musicality. He pockets £15,000 and two years as the LSO’s associate conductor. The final, recorded by Classic FM for broadcast on Thursday 24 November, concluded a gruelling three-day competition […]

Read More