About Tony

Tony Woodcock is a recovering Englishman. He came to the U.S. in 1998 to be the President of the Oregon Symphony, moving a few years later to the same position with the Minnesota Orchestra. Although he has enjoyed a rich and fascinating career with performing organizations in this country and the U.K., this is his first position in higher education. After three years at NEC, he describes the experience as everything he wanted and more – and that “I have the best job in the world where any dream or spark of creativity can ignite.” In June 2009, he undertook the cure for his condition and was sworn in as an American citizen.

3 Responses to About Tony

  1. Pamela Harper says:

    How sad, how very,very sad to lose this great human being. A master of his art.
    Thank you so much for the incredible obituary, I have learned so very much more about this wonderful man. My condolences to his family, to you especially and all his close friends. May God bless him and keep him.

  2. Chris Guy says:

    Hi, Tony, I’ve just found your blog and read your eloquent and entertaining obituary for Yakov. I wanted to back up every word you said: the qualities of both the musician and human being. A genuinely class act, whom I always enjoyed working with both in Bournemouth and elsewhere, who always had time for a kind word on almost any subject.
    Could I just add my own favourite memory of him? The day before the Bournemouth SO trip to the State in ’97, the wife of my colleague in the percussion section, Kevin Field, went into labour with their first child. Kevin rang and said that he had to pull out of the tour; in fact only the middle two of the six concerts needed a large number of players, so we agreed that he would swap with another player who would come out for the whole trip, with Kevin visiting for the two central concerts; this was arranged quickly and sorted. I told Yakov next day at the airport, expecting something of a rucus and a session having to smooth ruffled artisitic feathers, in the manner of very many conductors; well, it’s what they do, isn’t it? Not a bit of it: he was more than happy that we’d accommodated and dealt with the situation, and was delighted to hear of the birth. Then, when Kevin arrived a couple of days later, he said that his wife had received a huge bunch of flowers and message of congratulation from Yakov. No fuss, no self-aggrandisement – just a decent and thoroughly gifted man doing what was natural to him.
    I would like to write a lot more about him, and, like you, many stories, as well as memories of wonderful performances. And not only as a conductor: remember those two-piano and percussion late night concerts which he performed with Paul Mann and myself? They were wonderful events, and ones which only him among almost any other conductor would have contemplated, only a matter of minutes after a full-scale symphony concert.
    All the very best wishes to you; I hope this finds you in the rudest of health, and that life is treating you well. Take care, and I hope sometime to meet up when you’re back in the Old Country and chew a bit of fat?????

  3. Mary Wolf says:

    Dear Mr. Woodcock,

    I knew Yakov really more as a friend and husband to my friend Amy, mutual parents of our young sons in Boulder. Although out of touch for some years, Yakov burns brightly in my memory with compassion and love and hilarity! Thank you for writing of him so lovingly and intimately.

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