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Call & Response: Michael Collins

In honour of his very first appearance in London as Principal Conductor of the City of London Sinfonia, Michael Collins sheds some light on a few of his firsts and some of his lasts for good measure.

 

What was the first performance you attended? It was Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. It was a Sir Robert Mayer Concert for Children.

How did your very first audition go? It was for the Royal College of Music Junior Department. I was so nervous that my fingers shook all the way through, but they still let me in.

When and where was the first time you performed in London? I played at a Youth Makes Music concert when I was 10 at the Royal Festival Hall to 3000 people playing a Brahms Sonata.

Who was your first mentor/inspiration? On the clarinet it was Thea King from a very early age. I went to see her and asked for her autograph then carried on to study with her. On the piano it was and still is Martha Argerich, and I have been lucky enough to play with her on several occasions.

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How was your first time stepping into conductor’s shoes? It seemed a natural progression from the clarinet as I had been doing a lot of directing from the instrument.

What was the last piece of music you listened to? John Adams’ Atomic Symphony.

When did you last feel truly challenged? I suppose whenever I walk on the platform it is a challenge as I am trying all the time to make the experience the very best, not just for me but for the audience as well.

Who was the last person to offer you some sage advice? Actually it was my 12 year old son who told me not to worry so much and take it easy!!

Michael will be conducting and performing at Cadogan Hall on Thursday 7 April, 7.30pm. Box Office: 020 7730 4500.

 

Have a listen to our Concert Playlist to hear all the pieces that will be performed on the night.

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Five things you never knew about Jemima Puddleduck

It’s our first Crash Bang Wallop! family concert of the year tomorrow, which sees Stephen McNeff’s fantastic The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck performed. In honour of this we’ve put together our top five Jemima Puddleduck facts.

1. Jemima also appears in another Beatrix Potter book, The Tale of Tom Kitten. 

2. She’s over 103 years old, as the book was first published in 1908. 

3. The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck is the twelfth in the Beatrix Potter series.

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4. It’s set at Beatrix Potter’s farm Hill Top in the Lake District, which you can still visit today.

5. Jemima Puddleduck is the second most popular character in terms of spin-off merchandise, after Peter Rabbit.

 

Hope to see you at Cadogan Hall tomorrow!

The CLS team 

Crash Bang Wallop!
Saturday 26 March 12.00pm
Cadogan Hall, London 

 

 

Concert Focus: Crash, Bang, Wallop!

You can tell one of our big Crash, Bang, Wallop! family concerts is fast approaching when the CLS office turns into a full time craft production zone! Right now our photocopier is running non-stop, producing brightly coloured musical word searches and colouring sheets and we’re busily laminating signs and gathering up percussion instruments for all of our pre-concert activities on Saturday.

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Saturday’s concert at Cadogan Hall is based around stories and nursery rhymes, with some pieces written by our very own presenter, James Redwood, and our grand finale will be The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck by Stephen McNeff.  Also on the programme is a brand new piece by a young composer, 17 year old Joaquim (Quim) Badia Arumi. Quim is currently in his final year at the Purcell School for Young Musicians and will next year be continuing his studies at the Royal College of Music. The piece he has written is called Armentier and is written for solo piano and flute with orchestra. 

 

Quim told us: “Armentier was written in August 2010 in a little village called Armentera, in Costa Brava in Spain. It’s a mixture of up-beat music and calm, lyric writing. I wanted to explore the different textures of both the flute and the piano and how they can convey different characters.”

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The multi-talented Quim will be playing the solo piano part and will be joined on stage by fellow Purcell School pupil, flautist Charlotte Ashton.  Both Quim and Charlotte are also part of the pupil-led Impulse Outreach group at the Purcell School and have toured the country giving workshops and concerts to schools and communities.    

If you’d like to join us and hear Quim’s piece, as well as Jemima Puddleduck and much more, the last few tickets for Saturday’s concert are available at the Cadogan Hall box office on 020 7730 4500.

Gillian Hunter

Education Manager