As a conductor and musician, Artistic Partner Richard Egarr is known for his charisma, joy-filled approach, and his profound knowledge of centuries-old music. This fall, he channels his passion and expertise into a new role as Music Director at Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale (PBO). Richard remains an SPCO Artistic Partner.
“PBO is an exciting, dynamic, open-minded and open-hearted organisation where I feel that my musical ideas and desires can be realized,” Richard said. “Both the musicians and staff are wonderful people, and San Francisco is a great place! I can’t wait to get back there when it’s possible.”
Even amid the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic, Richard finds inspiration from Dory in the movie Finding Nemo. “‘Just keep swimming,’” he says, reciting the famous line from the plucky underwater character. “Music is an utterly essential element for peoples’ well-being. I have faith that music will play an enormously important part in the healing process that is coming – from what has been the most awful time of separation, distancing and disgraceful polarisation of the human spirit … It’s immensely challenging, but we just have to go with the flow and do what we can, when we can.”
“Music is an utterly essential element for peoples’ well-being. I have faith that music will play an enormously important part in the healing process that is coming …”
The year 2020 has also pushed many to collaborate across the country, and, for Richard, across the Atlantic. PBO, like many other ensembles today, is sharing a virtual season that includes master classes, a performance series streamed live from Richard’s home in Amsterdam, and full-length performances, one of which will appear in The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s upcoming concert stream celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday. During this digital concert, Richard is joined by Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya at the fortepiano for Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Sixth Symphony, arranged for two players on one piano by Carl Czerny.
“Carl Czerny [is] a hugely important and undervalued musician who knew Beethoven the Man and Musician incredibly closely, having been in contact and studied with him from the age of 10! The arrangement is a phenomenal re-working of the symphony for four hands on one piano, with extraordinary textures and physical arrangement of the two players that both change and amplify Beethoven’s original orchestral texture. Just watch and listen! I guarantee that you will be as excited as we were working on this brilliant music and transcription.”