sat 23/09/2017

Classical Galleries

Podium nitrate: Conductors at the 2017 Proms

theartsdesk

What do conductors actually do? It's a question that concert-goers, as well as listeners and viewers of the BBC Proms, often ponder.

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Eyes and teeth: Conductors at the 2016 Proms

theartsdesk

The concert photographer Chris Christodoulou has been taking pictures at the BBC Proms for 35 years. Even more than the musicians under their baton, he spends his time watching conductors like a hawk, observing their every gesture and grimace. Every year the wackier images, which convey less dignity but more truth, don’t make it into the public eye.

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Period Portraits: Snapping the OAE

Eric Richmond

When I was first commissioned by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment I never dreamed that it would turn into a marriage of such long duration. The length and breadth of the collaboration has lasted over 20 years now, and long may it continue. It has afforded me the opportunity to get to know many of the players, which as time passes allows for an intimacy and trust that's very rare in photography, a profession which, like the proverbial shark, requires constant forward movement.

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Kurt Masur (1927-2015)

david Nice

This is difficult. An official obituary, such as the one I’ve just finished for The Guardian, has no problem in pointing out the achievements of Kurt Masur’s distinguished career. Whatever his party-line status in Honecker’s East Germany, which he used to get the Leipzig Gewandhaus rebuilt to his own satisfaction, Masur did play a crucial role as one of five spokesmen preventing a Tiananmen Square-style massacre before the Berlin Wall fell.

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Sticky fingers: Conductors at the 2015 Proms

theartsdesk

Every summer at the BBC Proms the world's greatest conductors are captured in the waiting lens of Chris Christodoulou. His official portraits are sent out to the press straight after most concerts. But at the end of the two-month festival he supplies theartsdesk with action shots snaps which the maestri may perhaps not choose to stick on the mantelpiece. For the sixth year running, we publish them here (click on some previous galleries in the sidebar).

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Maestri: Conductors at the 2014 Proms

theartsdesk

Chris Christodoulou is the official Proms photographer, writes David Nice. From his uniquely privileged position behind a velvet curtain, he captures the white heat of performance. The official shots roll off the press a couple of hours after the concert, but for the past five years our man in the Albert Hall has supplied theartsdesk with unofficial contraband images of conductors in action.

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Gallery: CBeebies Prom

theartsdesk

In recent years the BBC Proms have woken up to the idea that an audience for classical music can be captured young. The Doctor Who Prom was the first to harness a BBC brand and turn it into a stealthy orchestral primer. The Horrible Histories has served its turn too. This season the Proms aimed at smaller listeners are multiplying. Last weekend there was the Sports Prom, with a programme of popular theme tunes bulked out by music on the theme of outdoor pursuits.

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Wild things: Conductors at the 2013 Proms

theartsdesk

"What I’m looking for is that fraction of a second that at least I could remember the concert by." At the start of the 2013 BBC Proms season, photographer Chris Christodoulou let theartsdesk into the secret of snapping conductors at work. Now that the Proms are over for another year, we publish not the official shots, but the ones which are simply too quirky to be released by the BBC press office.

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Prom 2: The Doctor Who Prom in Pictures

theartsdesk

There's the First Night and there's the Last Night. Nowadays among the staples of the two-month world-famous festival of music at the Royal Albert Hall, there is also the Doctor Who Prom. Last night, to mark the 50th anniversary of the resurgent TV sci-fi show, a celebration was laid on featuring Murray Gold's music from the last eight years of Doctor Who.

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The Fine Art of Shooting Conductors

theartsdesk

Chris Christodoulou has been photographing conductors at the BBC Proms since 1981. Many attending the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall may well have attempted to spot him. They can give up on that game herewith. As he explains to theartsdesk, the venue with its many curtains and nooks allows him to work discreetly. (If you want to know what he looks like, see below right.) We have been featuring Chris’s pictures in an annual gallery since 2010.

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