Recently I worked with two great musicians on this list. Once more I had the pleasure of playing in the orchestra for the Symphony Services Australia conductor training program, directed remarkable Christopher Seaman. I have done these sessions for a few years now, with several bands, but I never tire of them. Christopher is sharp, witty and insightful. His handling of the conductors and the orchestra is amazing. I learn so much each session I do.
And a completely different musician for whom I have equal respect is Tan Dun. I did a week with MSO directed by TD, doing some of his own music, some more chinese influenced stuff and some western hits such as the Mendlessohn fiddle concerto and five movements from Romeo and Juliet. I love his much - the Pipa concerto is tricky, challenging but hugely rewarding to play. It includes sections where the strings had to scream "Yao" randomly! And another piece required us to sing a tricky melody whilst playing another line!! Tan is due to write a bass concerto this year, commissioned by five orchestras who will perform it in 2015, including the Liverpool Phil and Tasmanian Symphony, where the soloist will be principal bass Stuart Thomson. I cant wait - its wonderful to have such a high profile conductor writing a bass concerto. Itll be fun.