The nomination of Dinis Sousa as assistant conductor of Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras “is a huge honor” because it formalizes the work with the British John Eliot Gardiner, who is already touring the United States, said the Portuguese.
“There was no doubt about accepting the place. It’s a unique opportunity and I did not dream that it was even possible, so I barely got this chance I was very enthusiastic and honored with the proposal,” said the Porto musician.
The nomination of Dinis Sousa, 30, for assistant conductor, a position that did not exist, was announced earlier this week and considered relevant by several specialized publications because it is the first time that the command of the Monteverdi Choir and the two associated orchestras is shared by the British since its founding in 1964.
The group began with the Monteverdi Choir, now considered one of the best and most versatile choir in the world, covering works ranging from Monteverdi to Stravinsky, but 13 years later Gardiner created the English Baroque Soloists orchestra to work with the Choir, using period instruments .
In 1990, Gardiner founded Orchester Révolutionnaire et Romantique to play a romantic repertoire, also with period instruments, starting with playing and recording music by Beethoven and Berlioz.
It is with this last orchestra that Dinis Sousa is currently touring the USA, where he is presenting two programs entirely dedicated to Berlioz, having planned two concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York on Sunday and Monday.
Being an assistant to John Eliot Gardiner is “very special” to Portuguese, who identifies with his work, a teacher who grew up listening and began to follow closely when he moved to London to study Orchestra Direction at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
“I was trying to go to rehearsals and concerts when I could, and these were always an inspiration to me. So having a regular job with these groups is very special, I’ve been working on some projects with Gardiner and this has been a huge learning curve and an absolutely remarkable experience, “he said.
The Portuguese conductor says that “in addition to the extraordinary repertoire, being able to live and learn with a musician of this level, with his inexhaustible energy, who is constantly exploring and finding something new in music that we all know so well, is something that has influenced me immensely.
In his opinion, the 75-year-old British conductor is one of the most important and striking today, which has revolutionized the way one hears and interprets music from different composers, from different eras, taking into account the different historical contexts in which and has produced a series of recordings considered to be a reference for musicians, music lovers and the history of interpretation over the last 50 years.
Gardiner praised Dinis Sousa for his “impressive talent” and for his versatility, recalling the collaboration in a “series of difficult tasks”, namely in the assistance during the ‘Proms’ of 2016 (the organized festival annually by the BBC in London), the production of “Oedipus Rex”, Stravinsky’s opera with the Berlin Philharmonic, and various projects with the London Symphony Orchestra.
The Portuguese hopes to benefit from the experience and knowledge of the British to continue with the project of Orquestra XXI, which he founded in 2013 to perform classical music concerts in Portugal, with musicians residing and working abroad.
“Working with Gardiner is a huge help because he is aware of all the programs and we can talk a lot about the works, which is always a stimulating learning experience for me,” he said.