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Thursday, December 27, 2007

home in New Orleans

I am just visiting New Orleans now for Christmas, and then soon I will be in Vienna to work as Assistant Conductor / Studienleiter on Janacek's "Kata Kabanova" at Theater an der Wien.

Here's the latest news:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Conducting excerpts available on

I am now in the process of making my conducting videos available on-line at

Already I have found a few of my friends' and colleagues' conducting videos there, such as Steve Ellery, David Rahbee, Scott Jackson Wiley, Noam Zur & soprano Jessica Tivens.

I hope you will enjoy the videos and post comments or video responses. My youtube address is:

Friday, July 13, 2007


This summer, I am working in Austria as an assistant on Verdi's Il Trovatore in Gars am Kamp. Many of the roles here are triple-cast, so this is a great opportunity to learn the opera from many different perspectives. We are performing outside in the ruins of an old castle. One of the most magical moments was while I was playing piano for a solo coaching with Azucena inside the castle: during the act 4 duet, one of our tenors in a nearby room joined in, and by chance while we were in a G-major section, the church bells from the village below began ringing a perfectly tuned G. Similarly, we have often had dramatically stormy weather to accompany the act 4 "miserere".since I didn't have any photos from Gars, I'm including this one from a nearby festival I visited in Jaromerice.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Barber of Zilina & Botticelli

After winning a prize last week in the Bartok Opera Conducting Competition, I am now in Zilina, Slovakia, to conduct a concert with the Slovak Sinfonietta. On our program are concerti by Handel and Mozart as well as the Trittico Botticelliano by Respighi, and Rossini's Overture to the Barber of Seville. By the way, how many of you remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon that went to that overture? I have tried to put a link to it here, but it is often moved from because of copyright issues.

The pictures here do not have copyright problems and are by Alessandro Botticelli (downloaded from wikipedia). These are two of the paintings on which Ottorino Respighi based his Trittico Botticelliano. The first movement is an allegory of spring "La Primavera" which also uses a quotation of an ancient Italian song "ben venga Maggio".

The last movement is the birth of Venus or "la nascita di Venere". I was fortunate enough to see the real paintings during a visit to the Ufizzi in Firenza when I conducted this piece for the first time in Trento in 1997.

Friday, June 08, 2007

PRIZE WINNER of Bartok Opera Conducting Competition

it has been an exciting week for me in Romania where I just conducted Bela Bartok's opera "Bluebeard's Castle" as a finalist in the Bartok Opera Conducting Competition. Out of 36 conductors, I was awarded 2nd prize! You may find more info and photos at:
On sunday, June 10, I will be conducting the 2nd act of Verdi's "La Traviata" in the gala concert.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

FINALIST in 2007 Bartok Opera Competition

This past week, I have conducted La Traviata, Samson et Dalila, I Pagliacci, and Tosca in the Bartok Opera Conducting Competition in Romania, and once again (as in 2005), I have reached the final round! I will be conducting a rehearsal and complete performance of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle on Friday June 8 at 12:00 (11:00 Prague time zone).

My performance of Tosca was supposed to be shown LIVE on the opera's web-site, but due to technical difficulties, it was not viewable. This problem should be corrected now, and I hope you will be able to watch. Please see the previous blog for more info.

Monday, June 04, 2007

LIVE web-cast: Conducting JUNE 6

I am currently participating in the 2nd edition of the Bartok Opera Conducting Competition where two years ago I was one the top finalists. You can watch me conducting via a LIVE web-broadcast by visiting the competition website:

I will be performing Puccini's TOSCA on Wednesday June 6 at 6pm. Romanian time zone (Thus 17:00 in Prague, and 10am. in New Orleans).

Monday, April 30, 2007

Haydn's Hainburg, concert in Austria

In April, I conducted a concert with the Czech Virtuosi orchestra from Brno. We performed in Hainburg, Austria. This is a city near Vienna where Josef Haydn lived.

Quoting from wikipedia: "Haydn's parents noticed that their son was musically talented and knew that in Rohrau he would have no chance to obtain any serious musical training. It was for this reason that they accepted a proposal from their relative Johann Matthias Franck, the schoolmaster and choirmaster in Hainburg, that Haydn be apprenticed to Franck in his home to train as a musician. Haydn therefore went off with Franck to Hainburg (seven miles away) and never again lived with his parents. He was six years old."

We performed works by Purcell, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and a concerto for Basset Horn by J.G. Heinrich Backofen (as opposed to Offenbach).