Scots take long view on young maestro

Scots take long view on young maestro


norman lebrecht

November 19, 2019

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra has extended its contract with Maxim Emelyanychev to 2025.

Emelyanychev, 31, has only been in Scotland for a year but he made a splash at Glyndebourne last summer with Jakub Józef Orliński and at Covent Garden with Joyce DiDonato.

Evidently one to watch.


  • Rob says:

    He’s also a harpsichordist and has access to a posh coffee maker.

  • Full Fathom Five says:

    His charm, experience and musicianship highlight all the flaws we find in Thee-Adore

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    I am still waiting for the first conductor under 35 who is invited to conduct the orchestea where I play to whom I can really say “you were good in this concert: you had clear and coherent music ideas, you knew what you wanted, you use rehearsal time effectively, your communication with the orchestra was good, you were easy to follow/had good technique, you made us sound better, and more importantly you were here to serve yourself and not your ego” and mean it. These qualities are difficult to find in established conductors with major careers; they are just impossible to find young conductors, but for some reason agencies love pushing young conductors into careers they are not ready to manage artistically. Oh, well, we’ll continue playing wonderfully in spite of the useless baton-waver in front of us and these young conductors will think they are wonderful.

    • C Porumbescu says:

      Let’s guess – if you screw up, it’s the useless conductor’s fault. If you play wonderfully, it’s solely thanks to the musicians. Is that about the measure of it? Yep, thought so…

      • FrauGeigerin says:

        The reality is that any profesional musician, facing a public performance is ALWAYS going to do anything possible to save the performance. For example, if a fine violinist is playing with a pianist a recital, and the the circumstances are not ideal (an extreme example: piano is slighly out of tune and the room is cold , the part of the pianist falls off the piano during the performance, and there is a premier a not-so-good un-violinistic contemporary piece and they get the finished score the morning of the concert) the duo is going to do everything to overcome the external circumstances and the musical problems to give a performance as good as possible. It is the nature of musicians: no professional musician allows a concert to go wrong.

        Orchestras do the same: it doesn’t matter the circumstances, we always do everything we can to deliver a good performance… if the conductor is good it will be much better, but if we have a bad conductor (like we have in recent years with some conductors enjoying underserved major international careers) the piece will be finished (even if the conductor beats and cues wrong all the time!) and we will try to make it as good and musical as possible.

        Orchestras save conductors ALL the time…a good conductor is great: makes the orchestra sound better, makes everyone be more relaxed, and gives us a clear unified director.

    • The Ghost of Karlos Cleiber says:

      You wouldn’t be interested in a nearly-40 conductor who has spent twenty years training amateurs and has finally at last been offered a professional gig (with a very famous orchestra indeed – believe me when I say nobody was as surprised as me) next year, would you? The pros we use sometimes are always happy with clear instructions, lack of faffing about, clear movements etc. I know what I’m doing, have a large repertoire (which I know well) and think the most important thing is doing what it says in the score. But hey, I don’ t have an agent so I probably don’t count…

  • Currentzis aficionado says:

    I looked this guy up, and realized he’s the one who has been, for the last few years, assistant conductor in Perm to the much-hated-on-this-website Teodor Currentzis…..
    Guess you now need to change your closing statement for this article, Norman!!!