Maestro Conducting Masterclass with Peter Stark

The 2019 Maestro Conducting Masterclass was held in Silk Hall, Radley College, on Sunday 10 March, with St Giles Orchestra and maestro Peter Stark.

Eight young conductors – two sixth-formers from the College and six music students from Oxford University – conducted a selection of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Butterworth’s Banks of Green Willow (appropriately, as Butterworth worked at the College and has a memorial plaque designed by Whistler in the venue), and Borodin’s 2nd Symphony. Peter Stark offered his customary lucid expose of aspects of their techniques and coaxed them all into noticeable improvements after only half-an-hour of instruction each. Israel Lai, composer, conductor, pianist and organist from Hong Kong, was selected as the ‘best of the bunch’, and he will direct St Giles Orchestra in Rossini’s Thieving Magpie Overture on Saturday 25 January 2020 in St Andrew’s Church, Linton Road, Oxford.

The Festival is most grateful to TESCO ‘Bags of Help’ scheme for financial assistance towards this event.

From the 2017 event:

Kentaro Machida, who emerged as the best of the four less-experienced participants, is currently serving as Organ Scholar at Sherborne Abbey, before moving to fulfil a similar post at Merton College, Oxford, in October.

The overall winner, the outstanding Dexter Drown, is now studying Music at Manchester University, while somehow managing to maintain his Oxford conducting interests, including the Oxford Silver Band and East Oxford Community Choir.