tue 16/07/2024

Classical Galleries

Life after Tár: conductors at the 2023 BBC Proms

theartsdesk

A conductor who can now add "Gár" to his less flattering sobriquets may not have appeared as advertised at this year's Proms, but surely Chris Christodoulou can find a photo of him punching the air among his 43 years' worth of conductor portraits from "the biggest music festival in the world". We'll do without this time.

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A hair-raising season: conductors at the 2022 BBC Proms

theartsdesk

Flying manes and flashing eyes are part of the inspirational package. We may laugh at some of these dramatic images, but it's usually a sign of the conductor's commitment to his or her orchestra and audience. There's no doubt that the Royal Albert Hall from July to September is a place where magic can happen, even if it's as unpredictable as the acoustics of the capricious venue itself.

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Podium odes to joy: conductors at the 2021 BBC Proms

theartsdesk

They must have been especially overjoyed to be back in front of (or with back to the greater part of) a live audience.

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Rapture captured: instrumentalists and singers at the 2019 BBC Proms

theartsdesk

As two weeks of livestreamed Proms begin tonight, we just want to be there in the Royal Albert Hall.

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Antics before an audience: conductors at the 2019 BBC Proms

theartsdesk

What a difference a year makes. Live Proms will be back from Friday, but the very essence of the world's biggest music festival will be missing: the audience, and especially the Prommers whose rapt attention while standing has taken so many visiting orchestras by surprise.

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Like a baton out of hell: Conductors at the 2018 Proms

theartsdesk

Discreetly poking his camera through one of the red curtains around the Albert Hall, chief Proms photographer Chris Christodoulou gets the action shots others would kill for.

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Podium nitrate: Conductors at the 2017 Proms

theartsdesk

What do conductors actually do? It's a question that concert-goers, as well as listeners and viewers of the BBC Proms, often ponder.

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Eyes and teeth: Conductors at the 2016 Proms

theartsdesk

The concert photographer Chris Christodoulou has been taking pictures at the BBC Proms for 35 years. Even more than the musicians under their baton, he spends his time watching conductors like a hawk, observing their every gesture and grimace. Every year the wackier images, which convey less dignity but more truth, don’t make it into the public eye.

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Period Portraits: Snapping the OAE

Eric Richmond

When I was first commissioned by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment I never dreamed that it would turn into a marriage of such long duration. The length and breadth of the collaboration has lasted over 20 years now, and long may it continue. It has afforded me the opportunity to get to know many of the players, which as time passes allows for an intimacy and trust that's very rare in photography, a profession which, like the proverbial shark, requires constant forward movement.

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Kurt Masur (1927-2015)

David Nice

This is difficult. An official obituary, such as the one I’ve just finished for The Guardian, has no problem in pointing out the achievements of Kurt Masur’s distinguished career. Whatever his party-line status in Honecker’s East Germany, which he used to get the Leipzig Gewandhaus rebuilt to his own satisfaction, Masur did play a crucial role as one of five spokesmen preventing a Tiananmen Square-style massacre before the Berlin Wall fell.

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