Due to corona, many of my activities as a conductor couldn’t take place. One of them was my engagement as a guest conductor last month in Nizhny Novgorod (Russia) with Beethovens and Prokofievs 5th symphonies.
But corona gave me also new opportunities:
In June, I will be part of an international jury in the Viennese “World Orchestra Festival”, which this year will take place online. My colleague jury members are conductors and heads of the orchestral conducting departments from music academies in Vienna, London, Bloomington, Beijing, Düsseldorf etc.
Since half a year, I have been jury member of the competition for conductors in the online “Music and Stars Awards Competition”. The next edition will be in June 2021.
Another new experience: several months ago, I rehearsed and recorded with my students from the Music Academy in Bremen three pieces by Czech composers, the instrumental ensembles being at the music academy (Germany), me conducting and rehearsing at home (Netherlands). Not such an easy job with a delay of about one second and with a lot of irregular bar meters in a fast tempo in some of the compositions! Here is a short video of one of the rehearsals, the so called “distance conducting”.
The corona period gave me time to make a revised version of my book “A complete conducting technique”. The first edition was made in 2014. Now 7 years later, it’s necessary to improve the lay-out, to optimise some graphics, to insert some new ideas and to correct some minor errors. I plan to finish the revision before coming summer.
Since about one year now, I am teaching online, giving lessons to individual conductors. Because of the latency in the internet connection, it’s not possible to synchronise the conducting of the student and my singing of the orchestral parts of the score. Therefore the student conducts at home in silence, imagening the sound, tempo, character, dynamics and instrumentation of the piece. In that way, we both “hear” te music conducted. Teaching online the techical part of conducting, is less complicated: it is about the physical movements of the arms and the hands that can be very well observed and improved via a screen.
And last but not least, my International Masterclass Conducting Technique in August 2021 (not online!) was fully booked very soon after the opening of application. Therefore I planned a second masterclass from 30 August to 6 September, 2021. By now, there are only 6 places left. For those who want to develop or improve their conducting skills, don’t hesitate to contact me! All information under www.renegulikers.nl/masterclass.
Am I an online condcutor now? Since one year, I would say: yes, but by the time of my next newsletter, I am confident that we as conductors are able to work again as usual and I can tell you about how beautiful life is with many rehearsals, concerts, tours, lessons, masterclasses and juries. For now: we keep on going!