On the road conducting film music, at the Madison Symphony and around the world

Posted on: January 27, 2020

“John Jesensky, the conductor of ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,’ in concert with the Madison Symphony Orchestra on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, is currently touring Germany with another Harry Potter film, the first in the series,” writes Lindsay Christians in Thursday’s (1/23) Capital Times (Madison, WI). “For six years he’s worked in various roles with CineConcerts, which broadcasts movies like ‘The Godfather,’ ’Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage’ accompanied by a full, live orchestra. Q: What are you enjoying most about this Harry Potter tour? Jesensky: John Williams’ music was my first foray into the classical world.… If there is one thing I hope I accomplish in all of our performances, it is to inspire a youngster to pick up an instrument, or for an adult to decide they would love to come back and visit the orchestra again. Q: What happens if you and the orchestra get off step with the film? Jesensky: It’s in those moments that I earn my stripes as conductor! Whether it’s a wrong note, technical error or my own arms giv-ing an improper beat, it is my job to quickly course-correct and nonverbally get every musician back on the same page.”