Friday 28th September

Meet Our New Orchestra Manager

Meet our new Orchestra Manager, Luke Christiansen. We caught up with him to have a chat about what an orchestra manager does, what are the challenges and highlights, and what's on his playlist.

You're the CSO's new Orchestra Manager. What does that entail? 

The role of Orchestra Manager is great as it’s so varied, working across a number of different areas of the orchestra, from production and operations through to player and personnel management. Of course, there is the work and planning associated with our exciting imminent move back into town to our own purpose-built facility – the CSO Centre and Christchurch Town Hall.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

The operations and production side of the role will always have inherent challenges, particularly in venues that are not explicitly designed to accommodate a full symphony orchestra. However we have brilliant production suppliers and technical specialists who are knowledgeable and easy to deal with, allowing for clear-cut planning and efficient execution. Of course, the CSO itself is flexible and more than capable of delivering an amazing product when faced with the same challenges, so on the flip side, working directly with the orchestra is one of the easiest and most enjoyable parts of the role.

What’s on your current playlist?

My current playlist at the moment needs to be updated, as it still features repertoire that Woolston Brass was performing in the Canterbury Regional Championships a couple of weeks ago -- so a purely practical playlist at present! However there are some favourites that I will always return to when I’m not listening to anything, specifically Vaughan Williams' Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1 and 2 and 5 Variants of Dives and Lazarus, Lilburn's Drysdale Overture and his 3rd Symphony, plus a few Brass Band works that I’ve come to love, including works by Gareth Farr and Ken Young. I’m a big fan of 20s dance band jazz, so there’s a few original recordings I always listen to – namely by Fred Elizalde and his Orchestra.

You’re a professionally trained trombonist. Why did you choose the trombone?

This is an easy one – three generations of trombone players on my dad’s side (including him and my uncle) meant it was the instrument of choice!

Who is your favourite composer?

I’ve probably already given this away, but it has to be Vaughan Williams. It’s always impossible to choose when listening to my top five composers at the time, but something about his music resonates with me like no other composer.