Monday 18 February 2013

Meet Eamonn Dougan

Britten Sinfonia Voices, formed in 2011, once again join the orchestra for the premiere performances of Eriks Esenvalds new work, Aqua. This new work forms part of concerts entitled Baltic Nights featuring music by fellow Latvian Peteris Vasks alongside works by Bach and Perotin.

Eamonn Dougan, Director of Britten Sinfonia Voices talking about the programme said "So much amazing choral music has come from the Baltic states in recent years and they enjoy such a strong singing tradition that it seemed natural to preface a new work by Eriks Esenvalds with pieces by composers who must surely have influenced him."  Eamonn will be conducting the new work by Esenvalds alongside Bach's motet Komm, Jesu, komm and Perotin's Viderunt omnes. Eamonn took some time out of rehearsals to answer a few questions about himself.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Directing The Sixteen at the Concertgebouw in a programme celebrating James MacMillan's 50th birthday with the composer in the audience.

What is your earliest musical memory?
Sitting in my sister's piano lessons thinking I'd like to have a go.

What would your super power be?
To be able to do without sleep periodically so that there really would be enough hours in the day to get everything done.

If you were an animal what would you be?
Probably a small, yapper-type dog (à la Eddie Izzard)

What is your favourite book?
As it is in heaven by Niall Williams. He writes so beautifully - prose which is more like poetry.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Not sure this would be my dream dinner party, but I have lots of questions for Jarvis Cocker, Bono, Peter Warlock and Brian Patten. However, I think there might be an almighty row.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Either to Tudor England to just hear how this incredible music sounded in their time (and in the process find some definitive answers on pitch and voice types) or to Bach's Leipzig to see him at work (and to ask him what his preferred forces would be, given a choice!)

How do you relax away from the concert platform?
Playing with my son is the perfect antidote as there is no chance to think of anything else.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Try to enjoy the here and now as you don't know what might be around the corner.

In a nutshell, what is your philosophy?
Same answer as the previous question really, coupled with if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well. (Oh, and remember to put the glasses in the cupboard neatly, in height order!)

Baltic Nights performances take place at Cambridge West Road Concert Hall on Monday 25th February, London's Barbican on Wednesday 27th February and Norwich Theatre Royal on Sunday 3rd March. Find out more about the concerts and book tickets here