Ask any member of TPC about our Music Director, Harry Bradford, and they will tell you what an excellent conductor he is. Over this last weekend we have had resounding confirmation of just how good he is.
Harry was one of 93 young choral conductors (age under 35) from 30 countries who entered a prestigious international competition run from Sweden: the Eric Ericson Award for choral conductors. Eight of the entrants were invited to Stockholm to compete in the semi-finals of the competition, with three to be chosen to conduct the Swedish Radio Choir in the Final on Sunday. Harry was the only Brit among the semi-finalists; others came from France, Germany, Latvia and Russia.
The semi-finals were live streamed on Saturday from the Berwaldhallen in Stockholm. The conductors had thirty minutes with each of two professional choirs to prepare contrasting contemporary choral pieces. An international panel of distinguished judges conferred while we were entertained by some stunning singing from other choirs and then the three finalists were announced. They included one Harry Bradford from England! What a thrill for him and for those of us following the live stream.
The Swedish Radio Choir responded to each of the three finalists with extraordinary skill and commitment. The winner, Krista Audere originally from Latvia but based in Holland, has already established an international career, as has the other finalist, Julia Selina Black, originally from Germany but now based in Norway. All three were quite outstanding, as was the quality of the sound produced by the Choirs they conducted. Harry considers himself to have been extremely privileged to have participated in music making of such quality. I say it just goes to show how extremely privileged we TPC members are in having him working with us.