Reviews

  “What makes a good conductor? I don’t know. Lots of things. But I do know there was a good one on the podium at the Long Beach Symphony’s season-ending Classics concert Saturday night at the Terrace Theater. His name is Edward Cumming. He’s tall, the very picture of a conductor, and has a commanding presence. He conducts without a baton or score, and uses his lanky frame expressively. He employs a diverse array of gestures and body moves to convey what he wants, and always looks like the music being produced. That last item is not as simple or as prevalent as you might think."         --- Long Beach Gazette  "[In] Beethoven's 5th Symphony in C minor, quite probably the most beloved piece of classical music in existence . . . Cumming's direction was spot-on, resulting in a performing equal to most recordings I've heard of the piece, and in some sections exceeding them."   --- Signal Tribune “The Hartford Symphony Orchestra plays beyond the technical requirements of the music, beyond the expectations of the profession . . . and with a sense of joy. I can imagine no better monument to a conductor.”    --- Hartford Courant "Edward Cumming directed the Ulster Orchestra in one of the strongest programmes in a long time, with something of the feel of a special event. Mr. Cumming was a star. Conducting without a stick, he held this formidable programme together with total authority from start to finish. The Ulster Orchestra and its loyal audience need more fresh conductors and new faces of this calibre. . . . the level of playing was as good as I have heard this season and a capacity Ulster Hall audience seemed thrilled and engaged in a way this is not always evident."    --- Irish News "Edward Cumming led the combined forces of the Pacific Symphony and the Pacific Chorale in a bracing performance. Cumming's editing of [Messiah's] lengthy score emphasized the work of his strongest soloists."       --- Los Angeles Times "Cumming led à la Stokowski: batonless, his hands carving and shaping the sounds freely and fluidly. He let the music speak for itself, and it did so eloquently."                               --- Orange County Register "I was completely impressed with Edward Cumming, the festival's 'stand-in' conductor. . . if those who work in classical music circles do not take a big hint from Cumming, who so wonderfully showed he cared about sharing his music with me, then they deserve what they get: empty seats."      --- Flagstaff Live! "Cumming led his forces in a performance of [Beethoven's] Ninth that will be remembered for a long time . . . in the end, it just may have been the greatest concert in the 33-year history of the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts."    --- Arizona Sun "Cumming is clearly an authority on the composers we heard . . . a capital performance." --- Belfast Telegraph "A Florida Orchestra highlight this season was the revival of William Walton's exceptional Symphony no. 1 by resident conductor Edward Cumming, who memorized the score and crafted a strong, glowing performance. Cumming conducted without a score -- or a baton - and made clear his affinity for this music."         --- Tampa Tribune "The concert, and indeed the festival, was given a rousing send-off by Cumming's splendid performance of Elliott Carter's First Symphony (1942). The audience gave it a well-deserved ovation."        --- Commercial Appeal (Memphis) "One of the top 5 performances of the year."    --- St. Petersburg Times
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