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SWR: “Gast im Studio: Nicholas McGegan, Dirigent”

On May 16, 2019 |
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Nicholas McGegan ist gewissermaßen ein Multitalent: er ist Cembalist, Barockflötist und Dirigent, ein Pionier und Praktiker der historisch informierten und historisierenden Aufführungspraxis aus England. 20 Jahre war McGegan übrigens künstlerischer Leiter der Göttinger Händelfestspiele, leitete daneben Barockfestivals und Barockorchester in den USA, arbeitete an bedeutenden Opernhäusern und sammelte zudem als Erster Gastdirigent bei renommierten Sinfonieorchestern auch Erfahrungen mit dem klassisch-romantischen und modernen Repertoire. Bei der Orchesterakademie II der diesjährigen SWR Schwetzinger Festspiele am 11. Mai probt und dirigiert er Strawinsky, Mozart und Prokofjew. 

-Listen and read more at SWR2.

LA Times: “Handel’s ‘Saul,’ not the ‘Messiah,’ with Nicholas McGegan in his element”

On April 11, 2019 |
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“Four years after “Saul,” Handel and the same librettist, Charles Jennens, would go on to produce that first true, most famous and still most lasting of all oratorios, meant for Easter (even if appropriated by Christmas). Instead Nicholas McGegan, the longtime music director of the Berkeley-based period instrument ensemble and as fine a “Messiah” master as there is, hatched a different and in many ways delightful, if eccentric, Easter egg…McGegan is the Philharmonia Baroque, and it will be hard to imagine the orchestra without him when he steps down after next season.

-Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

Photo: Nicholas McGegan conducting Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2016. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times).

Classical MPR Interview: “New recording brings Rameau’s ‘Temple of Glory’ to life as originally envisioned”

On April 10, 2019 |
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“Four years after the San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra was formed, Nicholas McGegan was hired to be its first music director. 35 years later, he’s still finding ways to keep the musicians and the audience on their toes.

“We have a whole series of new music written for old instruments, so we have composers who come in and work with us to play music that’s fresh off the page, and that keeps our musicians on their toes. It gives them a chance actually to work with live composers, which normally we wouldn’t do. Normally we’re just good at working with the dead ones.”

-Read more at Classical MPR.

McGegan & PBO in “top form” for Handel’s ‘Saul’

On April 10, 2019 |
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McGegan-Van Doren

“Saturday’s performance, which repeats Friday in San Francisco and Saturday in Palo Alto to close Philharmonia’s 38th season, found McGegan and ensemble in top form, powering through the two hour, 50-minute score with brisk, unflagging energy.”

-Read more at San Francisco Examiner.

SF Datedbook: “McGegan’s leadership brought out the score’s color and vibrancy”

On April 7, 2019 |
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Mcgegan conducts

“McGegan and the orchestra, meanwhile, demonstrated yet again why the Handel oratorios have been such a triumphant staple of their work together over the past 30 years and more. “Saul” is full of instrumental extravagances, from the rare presence of trumpets and trombones to a flashy solo for a sort of keyboard-driven glockenspiel.

Again and again, the ensemble under McGegan’s leadership brought out the score’s color and vibrancy. Not even the peevish Saul himself could have begrudged the performers their success.”

-Read more at SF Datebook.

The Guardian: “Mozart’s mentor sparkily revived”

On April 4, 2019 |
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Nicholas McGegan

“However bad things had got for Mozart when he died, at least he still had his nose. We know from a letter Mozart wrote to his father that Josef Mysliveček, the Czech composer two decades his senior who was a friend and something of a mentor, had his burned off in a botched surgical attempt to cure syphilis. Like Mozart, Mysliveček was brilliant, acclaimed where he worked – mostly in Italy – and incurably profligate.”

-Read more at The Guardian.

Gramophone: Bringing a lost concerto back to life

On March 29, 2019 |
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Myslivecek album cover

“Nicholas McGegan was a joy to work with and the SCO performed with such brio. When I listen to the disc now, it reminds me vividly of the warmth and dynamism of the sessions. Promoters still seem reluctant to programme Mysliveček, but I hope that as he becomes better known this will change. I, at least, am delighted to be an advocate for this captivating music.”

-Read more at Gramophone.

SF Chronicle: Philharmonia Baroque Serves Up More of the Same: Excellence

On March 12, 2019 |
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NM PBO von otter

“It was musical business as usual in the all-Handel first half of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s March 7–10 concerts — not that there was anything routine about the Overture to Partenope and the five vocal selections that followed. With the regally entrancing mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and the ingratiating countertenor Daniel Moody in the house, and conductor Nicholas McGegan marshaling his fine period-instrument band, the audience at the Herbst Theatre cozied up to the kind of programming and performances they’ve come to expect.

– Read more at sfcv.org.

McGegan and PBO are ” eloquent and theatrically savvy”

On March 7, 2019 |
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Nicholas McGegan

“Most of the program, though, was devoted to music of the Baroque, including an all-Handel first half that came as the latest reminder of how eloquent and theatrically savvy McGegan and the orchestra are in this music. (It also served as a persuasive teaser for the season-ending performances of Handel’s oratorio “Saul” on April 6-13.)

-Read more at SF Chronicle’s Datebook

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra at the Granada

On February 11, 2019 |
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“Under McGegan’s baton, the orchestra achieved full parity with the soloist, a challenge given baroque period performance priorities…The Schubert symphony sparkled with post-Beethovenian ingenuity of the first rank.”

– Read more at The Santa Barbara Independent .