GOOD news for Irish conductor Derek Gleeson is that he is due to make his CD debut this month on the Carlton Classics label, writes Michael Dervan. He conducts the London Philharmonic in Russian repertoire - little-known works by Tchaikovsky (the Ode to Joy and the original version of the Romeo and Juliet Overture), and Prokofiev (Zdravista, a cantata in honour of Stalin's 60th birthday). Curiously - or not at all curiously, depending on your point of view - Gleeson will make his debut on CD with a major international orchestra without having made a single appearance in Ireland with either of the RTE orchestras. The Los Angeles-based young conductor is currently also working on a project to establish a summer school for film composers in Dublin.
The first Elizabeth Maconchy Fellowship in Composition has been awarded to Marian Ingoldsby. This Arts Council-funded award, valued at £8,000 a year for three years, is for postgraduate studies at the University of York, where Nicola Le Fanu (daughter of Elizabeth Maconchy) is professor of music. Arts Council provision of such substantial funding in the area of musical composition is undoubtedly a welcome development. It's a bit of a puzzle, though, why Irish public money should be tied to a specific academic institution in this way. Surely it would be better to allow the award-winning composers to study at the place and with the person of their choice?