Please note, from October, all monthly talks are being delivered online via Zoom. A link to join the Zoom meeting will be sent to you closer to the event, once you have obtained your ticket for the event.
Annual General Meeting
Tomas Leakey – 2020 Bayreuth Stiftung winner
Tomas will give a brief overview of playing Wagner’s works in reduced orchestration, followed by an account of how the Mahler Players, a chamber orchestra based in the Highlands, have done this in practice with works like Die Walküre Act 1 and “orchestral fantasies” on Götterdämmerung and Parsifal. Then an introduction to “Richard Wagner in Venice: A Symphony”, a recently completed and critically acclaimed work by Matthew King, which makes use of late unfinished sketches by Wagner to create a 20-minute symphony in one movement; the first time most of these sketches have been heard. The Symphony will form the subject of a full talk by Professor King to the Wagner Society Scotland on 16th January 2022.
Tomas Leakey is the Music Director of the Mahler Players, a Highland-based chamber orchestra which he founded in 2013 and with which he has conducted many performances of works by Mahler, including Symphonies 1, 4, 5, 9, Adagiofrom 10, Das Lied von der Erde and most of the other song cycles. He has also commissioned and given the world premieres of several new works, including Birth-Rebirth by leading Scottish composer Stuart MacRae. The orchestra was described as “outstanding” and “Scotland’s best-kept musical secret” by Michael Tumelty in the Herald Scotland.
He is currently leading the orchestra through the Wagner Project, and in 2019 conducted three complete performances of Act 1 from Die Walküre, in a new specially-commissioned chamber orchestra version by Matthew King and Peter Longworth, with renowned soloists Peter Wedd and Claire Rutter.
Tomas began his musical life as a trombonist in the Highland Regional Youth Orchestra and studied conducting initially with George Hurst at the Sherborne Summer School of Music and then with Denise Ham at the London Conducting Academy. He undertook post-graduate study in orchestral conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has taken part in a wide variety of masterclasses, including the Orkney Conductors’ Course with the late Maestro Alexander Vedernikov.