This is the Halle Orchestra in Manchester yesterday. They used to love cricket and soccer but, after recent international setbacks, are in the process of changing their sporting allegiance.

Watch. Whatever you do, do not try this at home.


halle hakka

This year’s Handel Festival at Göttingen has a new president, the result of internal political changes in Lower Saxony. Last year, the state’s minister-president Christian Wulff was upgraded to president of the German nation. His replacement, as both Saxon ruler and Handel festival chief, is a conservative CDU politician by name of David McAllister, a 39 year-old lawyer and member of the Volkswagen board.

McAllister has yet to come to prominence outside state boundaries, but it’s only a matter of time. He’s the first leading German politician in memory to be half-British – his father was a Glaswegian civil servant attached to the Royal Corps of Signals in West Berlin – and David is fluently bilingual and holds both nationalities. He took his bride to Loch Ness in August 2003 and got married in a kilt. Some speak of him as a future German chancellor.
More interesting at the moment is his personification of the German-British duality of George Frideric Handel who, though raised in Halle, was tied to the Hanoverians of Lower Saxony, who went on to become Kings and Queens of England. David McAllister brings out a welcome British streak in the all-German Handel Festival of Göttingen, unifying its disparities. I’ll let him stand me a drink the next time I’m there.

All it takes for a competition to get onto the musical map is to pick the right winners. Cadaques, in Spain, has just hit the jackpot for the third time.

 

In 1994, the winner was Gianandrea Noseda, who is just ending a tremendous decade with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester. In 2002, Vasily Petrenko came top. He has since turned the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic from a grumbling mob to a brilliant band. This week, the first prize went to Andrew Gourlay, Assistant Conductor at the Halle in Manchester. 

 

Clearly the northweast of England keeps a weather eye on Cadaques for its own benefit, but there is no denying the achievements of Noseda and Petrenko and, from what I hear of Andrew Gourlay, he too is destined to go the distance. 

 

The Cadaques prize is €6,000 and a chance to conduct all 28 orchestras in Spain over three seasons. The jury is headed by Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Neville Marriner, who provide sage counsel to contestants. If I were a young conductor, Cadaques would be high on my radar.

 

You can hear Gourlay conduct the Halle for the first time on Thursday 2 December 2010. For full details please visit: http://www.halle.co.uk

All it takes for a competition to get onto the musical map is to pick the right winners. Cadaques, in Spain, has just hit the jackpot for the third time.

 

In 1994, the winner was Gianandrea Noseda, who is just ending a tremendous decade with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester. In 2002, Vasily Petrenko came top. He has since turned the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic from a grumbling mob to a brilliant band. This week, the first prize went to Andrew Gourlay, Assistant Conductor at the Halle in Manchester. 

 

Clearly the northweast of England keeps a weather eye on Cadaques for its own benefit, but there is no denying the achievements of Noseda and Petrenko and, from what I hear of Andrew Gourlay, he too is destined to go the distance. 

 

The Cadaques prize is €6,000 and a chance to conduct all 28 orchestras in Spain over three seasons. The jury is headed by Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Neville Marriner, who provide sage counsel to contestants. If I were a young conductor, Cadaques would be high on my radar.

 

You can hear Gourlay conduct the Halle for the first time on Thursday 2 December 2010. For full details please visit: http://www.halle.co.uk