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BIS! devoted to conductor Edward Downes

BIS! of TROS Klassiek plays historical recordings from the archives of public broadcasting. This radio program devotes much attention to historical productions by the broadcasting corporations in collaboration with ensembles of the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Centre. In November 2009 all broadcasts of BIS! are devoted to conductor Sir Edward Downes (1924-2009).

The name of Sir Edward Downes is far less known than many of his colleagues’. Yet he was one of the great and very much loved by his musicians. Opera was this Englishman’s favourite medium, Verdi his favourite composer. Downes also specialized in British music. He had a great preference for Russian repertoire, especially Prokofief and Shostakovich, too.

Netherlands Broadcasting Orchestra
Edward Downes, alias Sir Ted, has been attached to the Royal Opera in London for 53 years. He also worked with the Australian Opera in Sydney for quite some time. For a long period he has been closely related to several broadcasting orchestras as well, including the former Netherlands Broadcasting Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic. In September 1996 Downes visited the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Centre for the last time. Together with Peter Eötvös he led the 35th International Kirill Kondrashin Masterclass.

Downes was active not just as a conductor but he also reconstructed and arranged music. Thus he collaborated on scholarly editions of lesser known operas by Verdi such as Stiffelio ans I Masnadieri. He translated Russian opera librettos of for instance Moessorgsky's Boris Godunov and Khovanschina en Sjostakovitsj’s Katerina Ismailova. In July 2009 together with his wife he ended his life.

BIS! is presenting several recordings with Sir Edward conducting the Netherlands Broadcasting Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Choir. On the program are a number of works by Rachmaninoff, including the opera Francesca da Rimini. On November 16 for instance the Seventh Symphony by the British composer George Lloyd (1913-1998) has been programmed.

BIS! is broadcast every Monday evening from 8 pm until 11 pm on Radio4.

Laatste aanpassing op Wednesday 4 November 2009

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BIS! devoted to conductor Edward Downes