Thursday, January 17, 2008


Our program this week is conducted by Bill Eddins, music director of the Edmonton Symphony:

Mozart, Overture from The Abduction from the Seraglio
Kelly Marie Murphy, Colour of My Dreams
Saint-Saƫns, Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33
Rachmaninoff, Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

Bill Eddins has been co-writing a blog, Sticks and Drones, with lots of cute topics like "Butts in the Seats" and "Does this 4/4 pattern make me look fat?" It's been fun reading his contributions to the blog, especially in the last couple days. He's written about getting to Calgary, the first rehearsals, and the CPO's new staff psychologist -- which he describes as "the best move any orchestra could ever make." Read his posts here:

On the Calgary Trail
Calgary's Brilliant Move...

Surprisingly, this is Bill Eddins' first time conducting the Calgary Philharmonic. A few of us got to work with him in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and already have an appreciation for his charismatic and hyper-energetic style, and his bizarre pop-cultural references. He rotates through 4 or 5 different languages to count off, and he'll point out rehearsal letters using characters from Lord of the Rings - "Let's start at B for Bilbo!"

He had a special request for the bass section today - in the second movement of Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, where we have a pianissimo downbeat, he asked for a very particular kind of gesture. "Is anyone in the section Yiddish? It's like the way they say, 'nu!'" - and he made this odd little sound, something between a grunt and a groan, and gave our principal a little nudge in the arm to demonstrate