Christchurch conductor Vincent Hardaker received a Dame Malvina Major Foundation Christchurch Arts Excellence Award earlier this year. He has now embarked on his studies in orchestral conducting at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen.
“It’s going fantastically so far. I’ve regularly been watching rehearsal with the radio orchestra here, and have been able to see really big-time conductors like Herbert Blomstedt, and Fabio Luisi rehearse which is always eye-opening. As for the course itself, it is giving us everything we need but in a self-directed way.
Our ear-training, form analysis, vocal coaching and instrumentation classes are mostly 1-on-1 or 2-on-1, which gives us plenty of space to discuss directly with the teacher instead of just sitting and listening. Additionally these classes are specifically for the conductors at the soloist class level (me) so they are very targeted at situations we would experience in rehearsals, learning scores and so on.
We are just now into our 3rd and 4th sessions conducting the academy orchestra here for a concert we have on Friday. It is a joy to conduct again, and the Royal Danish Academy of Music orchestra really is a wonderful level to conduct. They are accomplished players, but are not so good as an orchestra that they don’t need us for technical aspects. Each of these sessions are followed by hours of video analysis where we look at our own, and our colleagues videos. The great thing about Giordano Bellincampi (our teacher) is that he is critical of everything. How we stand when we conduct and when we address the orchestra with comments, how we keep the energy during rehearsal, subliminal messages our body language might send out. The list is endless and it can get overwhelming, but the difference after these sessions is incredible.
I still can’t believe I’m here, and I’m so thankful for the support of Dame Malvina Major Foundation. I still have to keep an eye on finances, but the support is really helping me make the most of my time here.
Vincent conducting the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, January 2017: Grieg – Peer Gynt Morning