Eager To Lead

Dr Mark Eager
Dr Mark Eager will lead the Barrier Reef Orchestra as Guest Conductor on 14 July 2019 IMAGE: Supplied

The Barrier Reef Orchestra will welcome another guest conductor to its ranks this July, when they present a concert of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 under the baton of Dr Mark Eager.

Mark served many years as the Principal Trombone with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and favours this particular Symphony for its powerful and vibrant brass.

“However, it also has some beautifully haunting woodwind melodies and captivating string writing,” said Mark. “It is a symphony that leaves me exhilarated through its energy and effervescence, and I’m sure the audience will agree, certainly after the way I approach it as a conductor, expecting every ounce of passion from the players.”

The concert will also include works by Dukas and Morfudd Owen, which complement Tchakovsky’s piece.

“Both are strong powerful statements which stir up feelings of majesty and grandeur,”Mark said.

“The Dukas, being a fanfare for brass from his ballet La Peri, complements well the opening of the Tchaikovsky.

“The Morfudd Owen is an extremely rich and beautiful work with soulful melodies reminiscent of the Tchaikovsky’s more expressive moments.”

Mark he approaches the role of guest conductor with the aim to inspire and to generate a sense of cohesive musicianship within every single player.

“I see my orchestra, in a way, like an umbrella which rises from the back desks of the strings and very back of the percussion section to envelope the whole as one,” he said. “In this way I believe everyone is significant and can add something to the soundscape.

“As a guest conductor I may not immediately know everyone by name but in a rehearsal I can assess very quickly how each person plays, what they can add to the ensemble and how to enhance their expectations of themselves.”

The Guest Conductorship will see Mark return to Townsville for the first time since 2008/09.

“I’m extremely excited and very much looking forward to it.”


Dr Mark Eager will lead the Barrier Reef Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 on 14 July at the George Kneipp Audiorium, James Cook University. Click here for tickets.

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