December 14, 2009

How Nic communicates

Here at Philharmonia Baroque, we often talk about our musicians' instruments, but what about Nic and his conducting?

Since Nic is "the sort of conductor who just gets music thoroughly into his own system," he's been called many things – the sunniest conductor in classical music, an Energizer Bunny, the jolly elf of the period performance scene, and even a wriggling puppy because he's often seen dancing on the podium.

Nic conducting the all-Purcell program at Mondavi in November (photo: Randi Beach)

Of course, Nic's energy isn't the only thing that makes him standout from other conductors – he also does not use a baton. In a recent Chronicle article about local conductors and their batons, Nic talked about why:
"Most of my music is 17th, 18th or early 19th century and the orchestras are smaller," McGegan said. "I feel I can use both hands to express the gestures."

McGegan says that on the rare occasion when he uses a baton, "it feels like I have a bit of furniture in my hands, like I'm holding a chair leg."

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