Dazzling Classics – 24th March 2013

Meet Nathan Aspinall – talented young professional conductor

Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra is delighted to welcome our first guest conductor, Nathan Aspinall. Nathan is a graduate of University of Queensland with Bachelor of Music, majoring in French Horn performance and Conducting.  He is currently the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor-in-Training and has previously conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, amongst others.

“I have always been curious about conducting,” Nathan recalled his musical journey, which started with playing piano at age five, then trumpet at age 9, and French horn at 16.  “When I did finally conduct my school orchestra for the first time, I loved it.  I knew then that this is what I want to do.”

Being a conductor is more than beating time; it is about shaping the music.  “I like to have a greater vision for how the whole piece will sound,” Nathan said, adding that his favourite maestros always seem to know how they wanted the music to sound and “they don’t stop until they achieve it.”

So how does one practice conducting an orchestra?  “First, you have to study the score, analyse the music harmony and structure, and read about the history of the piece,” Nathan explained, “then you decide what parts you need and how many players you want in the orchestra.”

“The most important step is consolidating in your mind how you want the music to sound,” he added, “which means developing a wide understanding of all the different parts, and listening to as many recordings as possible,” a process which could take several weeks prior to the very first rehearsal with the orchestra.

Nathan recently returned from the United States, having attended the Aspen Music Festival where he and 13 other young conductors from around the world gathered to rehearse and learn alongside world-renowned maestros, with 600 international musicians participating in several different orchestras.  This was where Nathan conducted excerpts from Beethoven Symphony no. 5, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Mozart Magic Flute Overture and the likes.

The NRSO is proud and honoured to welcome Nathan Aspinall as our guest conductor for Dazzling Classics on 24th March 2013.