|Sian Edwards studied at the RNCM
and with Professor A.I. Musin at the Leningrad Conservatoire. [More about Musin in box farther down on
this webpage.] In September 2013 she took up the role of
Head of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. She has worked with
many of the world’s leading orchestras including Los Angeles
Philharmonic, Cleveland, Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble Orchestral de
Paris, Berlin Symphony, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, MDR
Leipzig, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Finnish
Radio Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Royal Flanders
Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, the Hallé, and City of
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She has a close relationship
with Ensemble Modern in Germany.
She made her operatic debut in 1986 conducting Weill’s Mahagonny for Scottish Opera and her ROH debut in 1988 with Tippett’s The Knot Garden. From 1993 to 1995 she was Music Director of ENO for whom her repertoire included Khovanshchina, Jenufa, Queen of Spades and Blond Eckbert (also recorded on Collins). For the Glyndebourne Festival she has conducted La Traviata and the Ravel Double Bill, and for Glyndebourne Touring Opera Katya Kabanova and Tippett’s New Year. She conducted the world premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s Greek at the Munich Biennale in 1988, and other engagements have included the world premiere of Hans Gefors’ Clara for the Opéra Comique in Paris, Cosi fan tutte in Aspen, her return to ENO for Eugene Onegin, Don Giovanni in Copenhagen, Damnation de Faust in Helsinki, Peter Grimes and Tchaikovsky Queen of Spades in Frankfurt; A Streetcar Named Desire and Dead Man Walking at the Theater an der Wien, A Night at the Chinese Opera for Scottish Opera, Jenufa for Welsh National Opera, Hansel and Gretel for the Royal Academy of Music and Aquarius by Karel Goeyvaerts for Flanders Opera.
Sian Edwards’ recordings include Peter and the Wolf, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide, and Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, all with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert with English National Opera.
Recent and future concert engagements include performances with Ensemble Modern, Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich, SWR Sinfonieorchester Freiburg, Kuopio Symphony, Turku Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, musikfabrik, Landesjugendorchester Berlin, Deutscher Musikrat, Milton Keynes City Orchestra, Palestinian Youth Orchestra, Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, BBC National Orchestra of Wales as well as performances at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Royal College of Music and a tour of the UK with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee . Recent and future operatic engagements include The Rape of Lucretia and La traviata for the Theater an der Wien, Orlando, a new ballet, for the Staatstheater Stuttgart, The Rake’s Progress for Scottish Opera, Ades’ The Tempest for Oper Frankfurt, and a concert performance of Tippett’s King Priam at the Brighton Festival. She has recently contributed to a new film by Tony Palmer on Holst.
-- Biography from Ingpen & Williams website
Aleksandrovich Musin (Russian: Илья́ Алекса́ндрович Му́син; 6
January 1904 [O.S. 24 December 1903] – 6 June 1999) was a Russian
conductor, a prominent teacher and a theorist of conducting.
Musin first studied conducting under Nikolai Malko and Aleksandr Gauk. He became assistant to Fritz Stiedry with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in 1934. The Soviet government later sent him to lead the State Belarusian Orchestra, but then curtailed his conducting career because he never joined the Soviet Communist Party. He turned to teaching, creating a school of conducting that is still referred to as the "Leningrad school of conducting". He spent 1941–45 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where most Russian intellectuals were kept safe during the war. There he continued conducting and teaching. On June 22, 1942, the anniversary of the Nazi invasion, he conducted the second performance of Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony.
In 1932 Musin was invited to teach conducting at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, then known as the Leningrad Conservatory. He developed a comprehensive theoretical system to enable the student to communicate with the orchestra with the hands, requiring minimal verbal instruction. No one had previously formulated such a detailed and clear system of conducting gestures. Apparently, his own early experiences as a student had prompted him to study the intricacies of manual technique. When Musin tried to enter Malko's conducting class at the Leningrad Conservatory in 1926, he had been denied entrance because of poor manual technique. He pleaded with Malko to be accepted provisionally, and eventually became an authority on manual technique, describing his system in his book The Technique of Conducting. Musin described the main principle of his method in these words: "A conductor must make music visible to his musicians with his hands. There are two components to conducting, expressiveness and exactness. These two components are in dialectical opposition to each other; in fact, they cancel each other out. A conductor must find the way to bring the two together."
Over a teaching career spanning 60 years, his students included Rudolf Barshai, Semyon Bychkov, Tugan Sokhiev, Sabrie Bekirova, Oleg Caetani, Vassily Sinaisky, Konstantin Simeonov, Odysseas Dimitriadis, Vladislav Chernushenko, Victor Fedotov, Leonid Shulman, Arnold Katz, Andrey Tchistyakov, Sian Edwards, Martyn Brabbins, Kim Ji Hoon, Peter Jermihov, Alexander Walker, John Landor, Yuri Temirkanov, Valery Gergiev, Ennio Nicotra, Leonid Korchmar and Oleg Proskurnya (who assisted Musin with the International Conducting Workshop and founded the International Academy of Advanced Conducting after Ilya Musin).
© 1996 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded at her hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on September 19, 1996. Portions were broadcast on WNIB 1999. This transcription was made in 2015, and posted on this website at that time. My thanks to British soprano Una Barry for her help in preparing this website presentation.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.