Returning guest conductor brings out the beauty of Brahms


March 1st, 2019


FEDDECK: “In my case, I played several different instruments. I was a pianist, I played the oboe and the organ and so when I was in the conservatory, I did all of these things. Yet they kept telling me that I should decide. What do I have to decide? It’s terrible, it’s like betraying part of myself, so in a way I made a non-decision and did something different the unifies all of those loves of mine in music.”

Guest conductor James Feddeck conducts the Omaha Symphony this weekend for the second time in his career. He is out of Cleveland, Ohio. He’s a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, is regarded for his interpretations of Bruckner and has conducted internationally from the Vienna Radio Symphony, The BBC Philharmonic, Montreal and Dallas. He passionate and loves what the intimate relationship with an orchestra gives back to him. 

FEDDECK: ”A good orchestra gives me something back also, somehow inspires me, feeds me and we feed into each other. I think those are the best, so it’s a very rewarding decision I made to conduct. I love the responsibility to bring this great music to people. I’m very passionate and inspired by that, too.”

Feddeck discusses Brahms and clears up why this gorgeous symphony wasn’t well received during its premiere.

FEDDECK: ” I struggle with this because I gather the piece didn’t have an immediate successful reception, nor was Brahms very confident himself, about it or about writing his symphonies. It took him a lot of time and effort to even start writing the first, so by the time we get to the fourth his confidence was greater but perhaps still shaky. It’s hard to imagine now, any one of the orchestra musicians that I would speak to can’t imagine that this wouldn’t be loved, because it’s so beautiful and it is just a masterful work. It moves one in such a way that after hearing it you feel completely transformed. I think it’s just the resistance to some things new. It is really good and I’ve also found that very special people are supportive and then there are people who want to put someone else down who is really talented and capable, and Brahms in certainly capable. He is clearly a talented individual. Unfortunately, the old human aspect of politics and all of this is not so nice. I suspect that was it.”

Meastro Feddeck and Brahms will transform you this weekend with beauty, intellect and life lessons through Brahms’ Symphony No 04.

FEDDEC: ”I love the Brahms symphonies. I have conducted all of them before, but every time I come back to them I discover something new.”

Guest conductor James Feddeck leads the Omaha Symphony tonight and tomorrow evening in a masterworks concert featuring the Symphony No 04 by Johannes Brahms, the Violin Concerto by Samuel Barber and the overture the Der Freischutz, by Carl Maria von Weber. The performances begin at 7:30 at the Holland Performing Arts Center. For tickets and more information visit or call 402.345.0606.

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