“Conductor Nicholas McGegan makes the musical points tell precisely and his energy affects the entire performance, carrying it through the slow parts of the piece. Diana Moore is simply perfect, her crystalline diction making it possible to distinguish every word she sings. Nicholas Phan as Simeon and Sherezade Panthaki as Joseph’s wife Asenath are similarly […]
“The Vivaldi was in McGegan’s wheelhouse. He recently completed a long tenure with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and although the orchestra’s role in this concerto mostly supports the soloists with springy rhythms and appropriate harmonies, he laid the foundation for brilliant playing from Hungarian trumpet virtuoso Tamás Pálfalvi and the Atlanta Symphony’s principal trumpet Stuart […]
“McGegan is a jolly man who clearly loves his work and engages with the performers and audience with utmost geniality. It is impossible not be drawn into the general air of ‘isn’t this all fun?’ that radiates from face, his demeanour, and his conducting. This very ‘up’ view of life spilled over into the music […]
“Four years after “Saul,” Handel and the same librettist, Charles Jennens, would go on to produce that first true, most famous and still most lasting of all oratorios, meant for Easter (even if appropriated by Christmas). Instead Nicholas McGegan, the longtime music director of the Berkeley-based period instrument ensemble and as fine a “Messiah” master […]
“Saturday’s performance, which repeats Friday in San Francisco and Saturday in Palo Alto to close Philharmonia’s 38th season, found McGegan and ensemble in top form, powering through the two hour, 50-minute score with brisk, unflagging energy…Robust bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch thundered appropriately, relishing every moments of Saul’s badness, and sopranos Sherezade Panthaki (Michal) and Yulia Van […]
“McGegan’s leadership brought out the score’s color and vibrancy. Not even the peevish Saul himself could have begrudged the performers their success…Soprano Sherezade Panthaki brought her trademark clarity and tonal sensuality to the role of Michal…Yulia Van Doren (Merab) and tenor Aaron Sheehan (Jonathan) acquitted themselves handsomel” -Read more at SF Datebook.
“Nicholas McGegan was a joy to work with and the SCO performed with such brio. When I listen to the disc now, it reminds me vividly of the warmth and dynamism of the sessions. Promoters still seem reluctant to programme Mysliveček, but I hope that as he becomes better known this will change. I, at […]
“The Pärt portion of the evening began with the orchestral Summa, an ideal invitation to this soulful artist’s universe of meditative calm. The gradual ebb and flow of a single oscillating string figure took on the gravitational pull of an ocean tide in McGegan’s sensitive, demurely lush reading.” -Read more at sfvc.org.
“Most of the program, though, was devoted to music of the Baroque, including an all-Handel first half that came as the latest reminder of how eloquent and theatrically savvy McGegan and the orchestra are in this music. (It also served as a persuasive teaser for the season-ending performances of Handel’s oratorio “Saul” on April 6-13.) […]
“Under McGegan’s baton, the orchestra achieved full parity with the soloist, a challenge given baroque period performance priorities…The Schubert symphony sparkled with post-Beethovenian ingenuity of the first rank.” – Read more at The Santa Barbara Independent .