A second chief conductor rises in the Midlands

A second chief conductor rises in the Midlands


norman lebrecht

September 14, 2021

The Orchestra of the Swan at Stratford-upon-Avon has named the clarinettist Michael Collins as its principal conductor for the coming year.

The opening concert will feature Aaron Copland’s clarinet concerto, with the conductor as soloist.


  • drummerman says:

    Pardon my ignorance but who is this woman and why is she in a photo all by herself? Surely she is not Michael Collins.

    • Alan Overton says:

      It’s Aaron Copland.

    • Anon says:

      The lady pictured is Rachel Smith, an excellent recording producer. She is standing between Stephen Hough and Michael Collins, presumably a picture taken during the last 18 months and socially distanced. (The picture in the sidebar is probably auto-cropped to the centre).

      The venue is Henry Wood Hall in London, a popular rehearsal and recording venue. I look forward to hearing what Michael and Stephen might have been recording, if they have; and congratulations to the Orchestra of the Swan on having Michael with them for concerts this year, he’s a wonderful musician.

      • The repertoire is the Brahms Clarinet Sonatas, the SACD (BIS-2535 SACD) will be out in Dec this year and the label is Michael’s new label, BIS in Sweden. This is his 7th BIS recording (3 released so far) with two more recordings planned for this year, making it 9.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Michael! So happy to see this. We met almost thirty years doing Bartok Contrasts with Gyorgy Pauk. He is a superlative clarinetist, a delightful person and this just brings smiles!

  • fflambeau says:

    Poor story and choice of photos. For more info on Collins, see http://www.michael-collins.co.uk/page-sets/biography.html

    He has an impressive background.