Keen followers of this website will have noticed the CCSO’s new initiative of encouraging young conductors by offering a chance to conduct part of a concert in the future, the rehearsals to be overseen by the CCSO’s Director of Music, Robert Hodge.
The three finalists emerging from the rigorous initial auditioning process (with piano duet) were let loose on the orchestra itself on December 1st, each of them being allotted 25 minutes to do their best or worst in front of experienced musicians, on average twice their age. They were asked to rehearse sections of the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Overture by Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky. Every member of the CCSO was invited to return a slip indicating an order of preference plus comments if they so wished.
The great majority expressed similar views, namely that all three applicants were remarkably competent, given their comparative youth, and that one outshone the other two by a narrow margin because he managed to bring about more noticeable improvements in the short time allowed. Having forged a rapid bond with the winner, Sean Dunn, the orchestra now looks forward to developing a firm rapport with him through their making music together in the future. Rumours are that next Autumn will seem him on the podium at West Road.