Home > Artists > Christopher Seaman

BIOGRAPHY

Conductor Laureate: Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Director: Symphony Services International Conductor Development Programme

 

Recent guest conducting highlights have included concerts with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic and the Orquestra Nacional do Porto (resulting in an immediate re-invitation). In June 2011 he conducted his final concert as Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic (New York) after thirteen seasons - during which he broadened the orchestra’s audience base through award-winning series and outreach initiatives.

Recognised for his wealth of repertoire which ranges from baroque to contemporary (in particular for Bruckner, Brahms, Sibelius and British works), Seaman is also highly regarded for his work with younger musicians. He has held the post of Course Director to the Symphony Services International Conductor Development Program for many years.

Previous positions include Music Director to the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra (Florida) for ten years, Conductor-in-Residence with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and recently Artistic Advisor of the San Antonio Symphony.

Christopher Seaman has put his wealth of experience as a conductor and a teacher into his first book, Inside Conducting, which was published in July 2013 to considerable critical and popular acclaim. The book was chosen by both The Financial Times and Classical Music magazine as one of their books of 2013; The Spectator wrote that it “demystifies the art and the figure of the conductor”.

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REVIEWS

“The orchestra exuded intensity and energy, at the height of musicality, showing a renewed sense of purpose… With Seaman at the helm, the listener could hear the import inherent in every note.” (Daniel J. Kushner, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, March 2014)

“There was no autopilot in play in this Messiah, a danger in this warhorse. Guest conductor Christopher Seaman has an insightful grasp of the piece, infusing it with Baroque style, rhythmic vigor and insightful drama. A parade of stylish, persuasive, ear-catching details came through, movement after movement.” (Rick Walters, Milwaukee Express, December 2013)

“Seaman used dynamic contrasts as expressive tools and as a means to draw the audience beyond the music and into the text of the work. This was particularly evident in the dynamics he applied to the choral sections of the oratorio. He demanded and got a host of colors from the MSO Chorus members, treating them at times like members of a chamber ensemble. He saved full-voiced sounds for rousing moments such as his soaring take on the "Hallelujah" chorus. This approach was thoroughly engrossing and compelling.” (Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 2013)

“Careful attention to detail, rhythmic energy, scrupulous balance and a fine ear for the inner life of the more animated music and real poetry in inward looking passages, where Seaman often secures a really rapt pianissimo. His pacing is excellent…the results are most effective in what is a thoroughly rewarding performance… it has something fresh to say about the music, and does so with insight and conviction. Recommended.” (International Record Review, May 2012)

“It sounds as though he’s really taught them how to perform the music he loves. Christopher Seaman’s obviously maintained and built on the standards set by his predecessors Goossens, Leinsdorf and Zinman...it’s a well-played and beautifully shaped performance. Everything about it tells you of the respect in which Christopher Seaman’s held in Rochester as he takes his leave" (BBC Radio 3, April 2012)

"He exercised unflappable control over the roiling, mercurial moods of Elgar’s Symphony No. 1…Seaman shaped its opening theme as an expansive, majestic procession. The RPO sounded robust and colorful in the development’s intricate turbulence, kept in synch by Seaman’s clear beat. He pointed up the delicate, pastoral touches in the brisk second movement, drew lush playing from the cellos and violins in the Adagio and built the finale’s restless pageant of past themes into a hymn-like climax." (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, March 2012)

"Conductor and harpsichordist Christopher Seaman led a stirring, thoughtful performance of the oratorio, using each recitative, aria and chorus as a step in a staircase leading to the triumphant meaning "Hallelujah" chorus and "The trumpet shall sound" aria near the end of the work." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 2011)

"Under the sure, energetic leadership of conductor Christopher Seaman, all parties played and sang as if Handel’s ghost were in the room to pass judgment." Third Coast Digest, December 2011)

“I have come to look forward to the concerts Seaman conducts. In fact, this season, I have been positively spoiled by the quality of his work. Seaman is a true artist. Thursday night was no exception. The orchestra was well prepared, fully engaged in the music, and comfortable under Seaman's leadership. Seaman had a clear, artistic vision for both works.” (Rochester City Newspaper, June 2011)

"Seaman's experienced, insightful leadership yielded not only confident but consistently interesting performances from the orchestra, which appeared to enjoy his presence on the Ohio Theatre podium.  Seaman's style is one of understated authority. There is little flash or folderal. He appears to be all about the business of making music and lets the interpretations speak for themselves, which they did last night -- resoundingly...  Last night's lovely, unhurried rendition brimmed with inner life, and great care had obviously been taken in shaping phrases in expressive, musical ways and putting dynamic contrasts in all the right places." (The Columbus Dispatch, March 2010)

“Christopher Seaman skillfully navigated the busy and significant orchestral writing, keeping the RPO locked in with Athayde.” (Democrat and Chronicle, January 2010)