My Three Minutes of Fame

02 Jul

Back in March, BBC Radio 3 ran a Comic Relief competition, in which the prizes were opportunities to conduct BBC ensembles. All you had to do was answer a simple question about the original use of Maida Vale Studios (a roller-skating rink): correct respondents were put into a hat and the winners drawn at random. Although I didn’t win the ‘first prize’ (conducting the BBC Singers in the Hallelujah Chorus live on Radio 3 on Comic Relief day), I was lucky enough to win a ‘runners-up’ prize, and chose to conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra in rehearsal.

It took a while to arrange a mutually convenient time but eventually, on Wednesday 22nd June, I travelled up to LSO St.Luke’s, where the Orchestra were rehearsing for a concert they were giving in Plymouth the following weekend. When Gavin Sutherland had finished his part of the rehearsal, I mounted the rostrum to conduct Sullivan’s overture to The Yeomen of the Guard. The first run was good, but not quite at the speed I intended: my total lack of experience conducting orchestras was very apparent! After a brief chat, the second run was much more satisfactory.

Following my exploits, BBC producer Matthew Walker recorded a short interview with me, which was broadcast during Afternoon on 3 the following Friday. He also made recordings of both run-throughs, which he has now kindly sent me; so here, if you’re interested, is how it went!

The broadcast package (2m 48s)

The second run-through (5m 46s)


Posted by on 2 July 2011 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “My Three Minutes of Fame

  1. Fliss

    2 July 2011 at 00:11

    I bet they wish all their winners were as competent, articulate and lovely as you, David!

  2. Nick Planas

    4 July 2011 at 17:08

    Very good – what a great privilege for you! Isn’t it good, though, when people actually respond to your baton? Quite scary actually, because if you should happen to make an unscheduled movement strange things happen!

  3. Cat

    5 July 2011 at 21:24

    Wonderful David!! It sounds fantastic. I echo Fliss’ comment greatly. I think for your next trick, you should conduct from the timpani, at the front of course! XxX


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