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Clarion Seven Muses - Philip Ellis

Philip Ellis


Reviews for Philip Ellis

Philip Ellis


BBC Concert Orchestra/Emma Johnson English Fantasy recording for Nimbus Records
The BBC Concert Orchestra under the direction of Philip Ellis very nearly upstages Johnson with its phenomenal and inspired performance. The ensemble is extremely tight and clean, with wonderful individual playing that is the equal of the soloist when the music demands it. This is a fabulous ensemble.
(THE CLARINET, June 2017)

Finland, Joensuu City Orchestra, March 2014
Conductor Philip Ellis was the splendid interpreter of the sound world of his British compatriot (Elgar's Serenade). The orchestra's playing was nothing less than excellent. Weber's Symphony No. 1 is an imaginative, glittering celebration and Ellis's baton worked its magic.
(KARJALAINEN, 15/03/2014)

…played with real sparkle …Philip Ellis' deft control of the orchestra (Jersey Symphony).

The London Mozart Players enjoyed playing for young conductor, Philip Ellis. Indeed they sat and applauded him at the end of the first half. He began by directing a most sensitive and finely shaded account of Schubert's Rosamunde overture. His reading of Mozart's Jupiter symphony was notable for clarity of texture and refinement of phrasing. Ellis is definitely a talent to watch.

It's a matter for regret that Simon Rattle's Eroica with the CBSO won't be given in Nottingham, but last night's performance was ample compensation. Philip Ellis was equally at home with the concert's more intimate scenes and the large-scale canvas of the Eroica. The first movement's conflicts were carefully built, the relative claims of form, sound and expressions finely observed. The tread of the famous funeral march sent a shiver down the spine, before the brief comfort and joy of the major-key trio. And the movement's final statement of grief had an epic ring to it.

His clear indications, his extraordinary ability to map out the course of the musical thought, enabled a fast flowing interpretation of the overture to Verdi's La Forza del Destino. He made the brass make the most of the threatening moods, made the tremoli of the strings, promising happiness, linger and accelerate again and again to the glissandi of the winds which keeps the work together. One can only wish to hear this guest conductor again."

Right in the opening work the lively style of the young British conductor came into its own. For Ellis, Verdi's La Forza del Destino is not a bombastic melodrama, but a thriller as tough as nails. The analytical power of the conductor proved its worth in Dvorak's E flat Symphony; it was his spirited interpretation which showed us that we have nothing less than a hitherto unjustly neglected stroke of genius. One thing is certain; with this performance the young conductor made himself friends in Reutlingen. One should remember his name when the question of the Music Director will be discussed.

Philip Ellis and the (Württembergische) Philharmonie get on with each other fabulously; the rehearsals must have been great for both parties, because the result showed quality not just due to precision and tonal fine-honing, but also to a good measure of verve and plain good fun. It was fresh, expressive music-making, pulsating with power and clear warmth.

Popular guest conductor Philip Ellis launched the second half of the Brighton Philharmonic's season with a cohesive and refreshingly positive performance of Beethoven's Sixth Symphony. Ellis set about cleaning the canvas in admirable fashion revealing a collection of deft musical colours. The haunting theme of the shepherd's song restored the idealised picture in poetic fashion. I have seldom heard it played as movingly as this.

Under guest conductor Philip Ellis, the Nottingham Philharmonic gave us every assistance. Their drive, lucidity and attention to detail were outstanding. Pensive and idyllic moments left their mark, before the worldly aspects of the symphony (Elgar's "A Hero's Life”, if you like) exploded in a final glow of triumph.


Amsterdam, Dutch National Ballet's Made in Amsterdam II, February 2017
Het Balletorkest under the baton of Philip Ellis contributed fine accompaniment

Toronto, National Ballet of Canada's La Sylphide, March 2016
Guest conductor Philip Ellis led a sensitively detailed and well-paced reading of the score Bournonville commissioned from Danish composer Herman Lovenskjold.

Sydney, Australian Ballet's La Bayadère, November 2014
Guest conductor Philip Ellis conducted the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra playing John Lanchbery's arrangement of Ludwig Minkus' music with a melodic flourish and an exemplary eye on the dancers.

Melbourne, Australian Ballet's La Bayadère, August 2014
Orchestra Victoria proved in exceptional form under guest conductor Philip Ellis, delivering John Lanchbery's superb but technically demanding arrangement of Minkus's lush, Viennese-infused score with assured ease.

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Dante Sonata, June 2014 * * * *
. . . the spark of genius, something that Ashton possessed from his earliest days; BRB's dancers believe utterly, sweeping across the stage to Liszt's impassioned music. All praise to Philip Ellis and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia for their idiomatic playing throughout the evening.

St Petersburg, Mikhailovsky Ballet, La Fille mal gardée, April 2014
Ashton pours his fluid dance over the old Louis Herold score. The latter, thanks to the arrangement by John Lanchbery, suddenly acquires an almost contemporary freshness. The composer saturates the sweet work with all manner of solos for wind instruments (respect to conductor Philip Ellis's thoughtful work with the orchestra), all contributing to the creation of a rural idyll.
(IZVESTIA written by Svetlana Naborshchikova, trans. Ismene Brown)

The Dream, October 2012
To my ears the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, conducted by Philip Ellis, did not play a note wrong throughout the glorious Mendelssohn score . . . the orchestra were outstanding here.

The Dream, October 2012
The Royal Ballet Sinfonia, expertly guided by Philip Ellis, did the verdant Mendelssohn score more than proud – as they did throughout the entire evening.

The Dream, October 2012
Philip Ellis led the Royal Ballet Sinfonia in a fine performance . . . music-making of both spirit and engagement.

Above all I praise the company’s conductor Philip Ellis. Each time I hear him, I think he is the best thing to have happened to British ballet music since the late Ashley Lawrence. He shapes the music of such minor composers as Auber, Herold and Minkus with the brio, love and finesse it deserves; he lends sparkle to weak dancers; and to precise dancers he gives stimulus and power. Playing under him, the orchestra of Turin’s Teatro Reggio gave the score unusual elegance and wit.

...Philip Ellis is turning out to be one of the best things to happen to any ballet company in a long time. His rapport with both the dancers and the music has a gracious flexibility that helps to send Wright's choreography soaring.
(THE TIMES - Nutcracker)

...but the ultimate star of this triple bill is the Royal Ballet Sinfonia who, under conductor Philip Ellis, honour every note Stravinsky wrote.
(THE GUARDIAN - Symphony in 3 Movements, Agon, Violin Concerto)

Peerlessly danced, wonderfully played by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia under Philip Ellis, this is one of the most sophisticated evenings of dance I have ever attended.
(THE OBSERVER - Symphony in 3 Movements, Agon, Violin Concerto)

...and five stars to Takane Funatsu, the Violin Concerto soloist, conductor Philip Ellis and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
(THE TIMES - Symphony in 3 Movements, Agon, Violin Concerto)

…what wonderful music, and so brightly and engagingly played by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia under Philip Ellis.
(THE ARTS DESK - Lady and the Fool)