Can conductors change the world? A guest post by conductor Rebecca Miller
'Energetic and tightly wound, [Miller] sold Beethoven's Fourth Symphony as I doubt it has ever been sold before. The performance was taut and explosive.'
Mary Kunz Goldman, Buffalo News
“Conductor Rebecca Miller has everything jet-setter Gustavo Dudamel has and something he doesn’t – precision.”
— Peter Hall, Buffalo Rising
'uttrycksfulla Rebecca Miller, en härlig personlighet på dirigentpulten' ('expressive Rebecca Miller, a lovely personality at the conductor's podium')
Så det var en riktigt uppfriskande konsert där det genomtänkta programmet visade alla från sina bästa sidor. Mer sådant!
Björn G Stenberg, Upsala Nya Tidning (Upsala News)
'Miller took the finale at a terrific speed, the orchestra responding with busy energy and the music almost seemed to fall over itself at times, but the control and concentrated power of the orchestra was impressive.'
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill
Crisp and Convincing... First class performances
"These Royal Northern Sinfonia performances are first class: while the American conductor Rebecca Miller sets convincing tempos and secures the crispest ensemble, she has also evidently taken immense care over nuances of phrasing and the players respond accordingly."
Bayan Northcott, BBC Music Magazine
Haydn Symphonies 52, 53, & 59
"These admirable performances make a worthwhile addition to the catalogue of the often-neglected middle-period symphonies."
David Threasher, Gramophone
'If you’re still a CPE novice, I can’t think of a better introduction to his brand of inspired eccentricity than these terrific, high-octane performances, live in every sense.'
Richard Wigmore, Gramophone Magazine
"The OAE under Rebecca Miller play with an accuracy and passion that's infectious: this is among the most exciting, adrenalin-filled period instrument recordings you'll hear."
Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk
"Rebecca Miller leads the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in fearless performances... Play these a couple at a time–they look alike but each deserves scrutiny. Like chocolate truffles."
Robert Levine, Classics Today
"Here the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under the spirited direction of Rebecca Miller plays five of CPE Bach’s symphonies...there is, in the central slow movements of these symphonies, a quality of expressiveness and sensitivity – usually referred to by the German noun Empfindsamkeit – that these interpretations appreciate with the same acuity that marks their approach to the more propulsive music."
Geoffrey Norris, Daily Telegraph
"The OAE’s infectious performance fizzes with energy, delighting in Bach’s volatile moods: blistering virtuoso writing sizzles, while calmer passages are buoyant and bright."
Katy Wright, Sinfini Music
"It is not possible to see the sparks, but you can certainly hear them. The music’s ebullient sense of discovery courses through the performances and the live recording is vivid."
Richard Fairman, Financial Times
"Energetic, committed performances."
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times - Essential New Release
"These five symphonies remind us why we should be enjoying his music regularly, not just in his 300th birthday year."
Richard Morrison, The Times (London)
"...the performance of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 was the best of the lot.... the pacing of the first movement was near perfection, so intelligent and dramatically fulfilling. This is a superb orchestra with an exceptional director, Rebecca Miller."
Steve Crowther, York Press
Game, Set, and Match for Prom 3
"This was the first time I've been to a concert with a 10.30am kick-off, but then this was the first of its kind. Nor did the inaugural Sport Prom turn out to be merely a game of two halves (although there was half-time, also known as the interval) but more like a party celebrating an adrenalin-load of multifarious sporting achievements. Presented by Gabby Logan, herself formerly a rhythmic gymnast, in conversation with famous names from the sporting world, lots of parallels were drawn between the teamwork of sports stars and that of music-makers, and today's BBC Concert Orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus, under the bubbly direction of Rebecca Miller, certainly brought life, soul and heart."
Katherine Dixson, Bachtrack
"Sporting earworms and classical treats made this a solid debut for the sport-themed Prom. As a recruiting tool, this young person’s guide to the orchestra was itself a solid Proms debut.Conducted by a swaggering Rebecca Miller, the BBCCO supplied plenty of rousing fffs and some lovely ppps in Ravel’s Une barque sur l’océan and Waldteufel’s waltz The Skaters."
Jasper Rees, The Telegraph
A forgotten revolutionary? The OAE and Rebecca Miller play CPE Bach
"The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, under the utterly brilliant, enthusiastic direction of Rebecca Miller, highlighted [the differences in CPE Bach's compositional style] at every turn with some wonderfully astute and animated playing; [the orchestra] proved itself eminently suited to playing these gamechanging works. As any good concert should, it has given me fuel to go and explore the often overlooked CPE Bach’s output in greater detail – surely a sign of a successful concert."
Julia Savage, Bachtrack
The OAE met vigour with vigour. Strings scurried, horns whooped, sudden fortissimos slashed the air - all spiritedly stirred by the American conductor Rebecca Miller, a miracle of perpetual motion herself.
Geoff Brown, The Times (London)
Four stars: "A blend of grace and urgency"
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph
"Rebecca Miller, who left her native Santa Cruz to gain fame in Britain, Mexico and Korea... made clear that she is a thoroughly seasoned pro, highly energetic and plainly ambitious... her conducting choreography is highly communicative on both sides of the proscenium."
Scott MacClelland, Performing Arts Monterey Bay
"Rebecca Miller dynamically led the Santa Cruz Symphony in this season's final concert Sunday afternoon at Watsonville's Mello Center....[her] gracefully energetic conducting included a multitude of cueing signals -- visually informative to audience as well as to players."
Phyllis Rosenblum, Santa Cruz Sentinel
"Rebecca fortified extensive leadership skills and textual analysis.... with vigorous gestures of command, she knew how to appropriately polish a soliloquy in which memories of tropical nature and human warmth happen... Seasoned in the classical scene, Rebecca obtained from her musicians the elegant gallantry that is essential in this classical concerto.... Another achievement of the guest conductor was to recreate that frenetic picture of diabolical celebration in form of hysterics."
Jorge H. Álvarez Rendón, yucatan.com
"Rebecca Miller captivated us with her stage presence and technical interpretation. Her resume is impressive, but must be seen in action, with her energetic and swaying style, commanding our orchestra and continually attentive to its needs."
Roldan Peniche Barrera, Por Esto
"Maestra Miller's conducting was crisp as the Autumn air, exceedingly energetic, and confidently capable....Miller and the orchestra were impressively engaged in the distinctively difficult score.... "
Jon Busdeker, Huntsville Times
"Musically fascinating with a hypnotic baton technique, Rebecca Miller is a major talent. With enormous energy Miller vitalizes the thirst for freedom that Beethoven pours into his magnificent 'Eroica' Symphony...elegant without being overly refined, her reading is triumphant. Miller's revelatory interpretations, her ability to lead with warmth and conviction, and the Reno Philharmonic's high level of achievement under her direction make these two Rebecca Miller concerts very special events."
Jack Neal, Reno Gazette-Journal
"With Rebecca Miller at the podium, the performance [of Messiah] revealed a taut, emotionally charged masterpiece. It brought repeated cheers from a packed house and showed why Miller, at age 31, already has earned international prizes and critical raves for her work in London and Houston. Miller's careful control of dynamics and phrasing let one hear every word of the text and the chorus, closely reined by Miller, never mumbled in complex contrapuntal passages, never swamped things in the thunderous climaxes."
Chris Waddington, The Times-Picayune (Louisiana)
"March slave oozed sadness and bristled with brassy energy. The Classical Symphony brimmed with puckish humor. The Firebird Suite shocked with its slam-bang drum bursts and seduced with the sumptuous, glittering finale. "
Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle
"[Miller's] conducting was crisp and orderly. She and the orchestra communciated well; the musicians played with a sit up-and-concentrate spirit not always evident in American orchestras."
Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle
"Possessed of a clear, communicative conducting style, [Miller] has the ability essential to any real conductor to engage an orchestra's attention and get its members to play with precision and fire.... Best of all was the airborne Schubert that positively fizzed with youthful energy with speeds again fleet in the outer movements if cannily sturdy in the Minuet, which for once was a real Austrian dance... A very revealing performance overall."
Douglas Cooksey, Classical Source
"Imaginative programming and inspirational performances."
'Under the astute and sensitive direction of conductor Rebecca Miller, this vividly detailed work [Strauss's Metamorphosen], with its velvety, swirling textures, was mesmerising."
Catherine Nelson, The Strad