An impassioned multi-instrumentalist
As a young child, New York conductor and rising star James Feddeck always believed that music would be an integral part of his life. More uncertain, however, was how he would take possession of this art. At the age of eight, he began to play the organ in a church, then went on to become a choirmaster, oboist, pianist and, finally, a conductor.
Took the plunge with Wagner
Composers each present a certain degree of complexity for conductors. James Feddeck certainly did not opt for the easiest when he performed Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll at the Oberlin Conservatory, his first time conducting an orchestra! But the experience confirmed what he sensed: he would become a conductor.
Following his own advice
In a 2014 interview, Feddeck advised students to never get discouraged and to always be ready to take the stage. Surprises abound over the course of a musical career, and being well prepared allows for flexibility and responsiveness. The young conductor heeded his own advice and proved his readiness when several orchestras—including the OSM in February 2017, with whom he made a very good impression—asked him to step in at short notice for colleagues who had to bow out at the last minute.
“Musicians of his calibre are like gold dust.” – The Herald
How to understand an orchestra
For James Feddeck, the most important thing about being a guest conductor is to listen. Each orchestra has a story that you have to understand, that you have to hear, because, he says, you momentarily become part of that story for a few concerts. Only then can you take an orchestra in a direction that dovetails logically with its identity. What colour will Feddeck give Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade with the OSM?
See for yourself on October 2 and 3 at the Maison symphonique.
“I think it’s my job now to open a new world of experience to [people] who maybe don’t know the symphonic repertoire. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of what I see on my path ahead is having the chance to be that force, to engage as many people as possible with music.” – James Feddeck