In Thursday’s (8/13) Evening Standard (London), Ellen Widdup writes, “A leading London orchestra has appointed an ‘apprentice’ conductor after running a competition based on Alan Sugar‘s BBC television show. Eduardo Portal, a former pupil of the Royal Academy of Music in Regent’s Park, was chosen from 60 musicians to win the position at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The 30-year-old will spend a year shadowing some of the finest conductors in the world—including Sir Simon Rattle—while ‘living’ with the organisation, which is based at the Southbank Centre. The world-renowned orchestra plays original period instruments to recreate composers’ sounds exactly as they would have intended. Judges appointed by the orchestra’s bosses reviewed the 60 application forms and performance DVDs to create a shortlist of six, who were invited to an audition during which they had to conduct the 35-strong orchestra as they played Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart. … Mr. Portal will work in all departments of the orchestra, including the offices, so he understands how it works as a business as well as an art form.”

Posted August 13, 2009