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McGegan “catching the spirit of an era” at Aspen

On July 15, 2017 |
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Nicholas McGegan

“McGegan proved adept at catching the spirit of the era even on modern instruments with an all-student orchestra…McGegan and the ensemble were especially sparkly in the two final pieces, a short selection from Handel’s “Water Music” and a colorful dip into a suite from Purcell’s Faerie Queen.”

— Read more at The Aspen Times.

McGegan “radiates the joy” at Aspen

On July 11, 2017 |
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Nicholas McGegan

“Conducting without a baton, McGegan communicated what was needed with facial expressions, dancelike body movements and graceful hand gestures. No conductor radiates the joy in music quite like McGegan does…”

— Read more at aspentimes.com.

McGegan leads Mozart at the Van Cliburn Competition

On June 5, 2017 |
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McGegan

“One of the happiest developments over the 20 years I’ve covered the Cliburn has been the FWSO’s vast improvement under Miguel Harth-Bedoya, music director for the last 16 years. But, given the orchestra’s relatively little experience in 18th-century style, it was a great idea to book a specialist, Nicholas McGegan, to conduct this round.

Sure enough, he cultivated stylishly buoyant and smartly nuanced playing, but without shortchanging drama from the same composer as Don Giovanni. One hoped the young pianists were picking up stylistic ideas.”

— Read more at dallasnews.com.

Photo: Pianist Dasol Kim took a bow with conductor Nicholas McGegan after performing with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in the Semifinal Round of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition on Saturday. (Ralph Lauer/Van Cliburn)

Spreading the Gospel: Period Style for Modern Performers

On May 8, 2017 |
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Nicholas McGegan

“It isn’t easy to condense years of training in historically informed performance into just a few rehearsals with non-specialist players—and not everyone in the early-music world would care to attempt it. However, some eagerly accept the challenge. Nicholas McGegan, Jeanne Lamon, and Jeannette Sorrell are three prominent HIP musicians who balance their evangelical zeal for period style with realistic ideas about what can and cannot be accomplished in the context of an orchestra’s schedule and skill set. Their goals are similar, yet each takes a different approach to working with modern orchestras.”

— Read more at Early Music America.

Atlanta Journal Constitution: “Review: ASO captivates with 18th-century tunes”

On May 5, 2017 |
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Nicholas McGegan

“McGegan, who is noted for his expertise in 18th-century music, conducted about two dozen strings in a completely gorgeous, utterly placid recitation of the Mozart composition…Aside from being a masterful conductor, McGegan is a joy to watch.”

— Read more at The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Photo: Jeff Roffman

Financial Times: “The Temple of Glory, Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, California — a majestic farce”

On May 2, 2017 |
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Rameau

“…music director Nicholas McGegan’s life-long Rameauphilia, and the participation of the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, sufficed to inspire the rebirth of a major contribution to the lyric stage…But it was the 42-member period orchestra that McGegan has led for 30 years with verve and insight that proved the greatest source of revelations.”

— Read more at The Financial Times.

Mercury News: “Rare satiric Rameau-Voltaire opera beautifully staged”

On April 29, 2017 |
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Nicholas McGegan

“McGegan conducted with his trademark verve and attention to detail, drawing forceful orchestral responses in the triumphant music and gentle, opulent sound in the pastoral scenes.”

— Read more at mercurynews.com.

SF Chronicle: “Temple’ revives the grandeur of the French Baroque”

On April 29, 2017 |
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McGegan-Rameau

“…rendered with nobility and verve by the orchestra under Music Director Nicholas McGegan…This was billed as the modern premiere of a work that has lain dormant for centuries; encountering it on stage at last was like watching a resplendently bedecked giant stirring to life.”

— Read more at sfchronicle.com.

Photo: Frank Wing

” Philharmonia Baroque stages rare performance of a resurrected gem…”

On April 25, 2017 |
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Nicholas McGegan

“With top-quality Baroque works performed in the Bay Area each year, music lovers might be tempted to think they’ve heard everything the era produced.

But this weekend at Zellerbach Hall, audiences are about to experience a rare French Baroque masterwork – a fully staged production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s 1745 opera-ballet “Le Temple de la Gloire” (The Temple of Glory).”

– Read more at mercurynews.com.

McGegan will bring RNS to Hull for BBC Proms

On April 20, 2017 |
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Nicholas McGegan

“…the special visit to Hull, as part of the classical music programme’s ‘Proms at…’ series, is a huge honour with the festival rarely travelling outside of London. Fittingly, Stage@TheDock will host the concert inspired by the 300th anniversary of the first performance of Handel’s Water Music. The music was first performed for George I on the Thames. Pioneering early music expert Nicholas McGegan will direct the Royal Northern Sinfonia at Hull’s outdoor amphitheatre.”

— Read more at hulldailymail.co.uk.

Photo: Les Gibbon