A Stage Not Big Enough for a Legend
"First, an apology all too relevant for the subject of this review. Earlier this week, in my review of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet's season in Washington, I neglected to mention either the Kennedy Center's orchestra or its conductor, Emil de Cou. Both show standards higher than those we are used to hearing in New York; Mr. de Cou may now be the finest ballet conductor in America."
New York Times
October 20, 2011
NSO in Full Bloom Without Ear Buds
"de Cou's experiments are important: He's one of the few conductors trying to open new doors into classical music, either with video (de Cou, was first drawn to music by the 1940 film 'Fantasia') or other new technologies aimed at younger audiences."
"Beethoven's 'Egmont' overture, the centerpiece, made the most of the orchestra's warm, generous sound and de Cou's sense of phrasing and character."
Conductor de Cou worthy of reputation
"My ear pricked up at the very first chord of the 4th Brandenburg Concerto: The sound had amazing buoyancy and lightness."
Colorado Springs Gazette
Orchestra serves up a feast for opera lovers
"He (de Cou) proved to be an excellent accompanist for the singers, as well as a highly capable conductor with a graceful podium style, giving precise direction and bringing out both subtle nuances and high drama."
Susan L. Peña
Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 3 - Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
"Under de Cou's direction, the LPO made a strong case for adding this richly orchestrated, four-movement work to the standard repertoire."
New Orleans Times-Picayune
"De Cou has a punch to his conducting style, which perfectly suited the overture, music with stretches of gentle arabesques disrupted by startling sforzandos and other hallmark-Beethoven features. De Cou's approach to the symphony movements was a model of pastoral playfulness, with continual scurrying figures tossed between orchestral sections in a pleasantly outdoorsy way."
Off to See -- and Truly Hear -- 'The Wizard'
"There are many technical challenges in a performance like this -- not the least that the orchestra musicians must keep pace with a screen they cannot see and singers who cannot hear them. The NSO navigated all of these bumps in the yellow brick road, and having the music in the foreground of the film brought out elements and moments that usually go unnoticed... It was an exciting evening.."
"For the past few years, Emil de Cou has begun listening to Christmas music in mid-summer. It is his professional duty. As the conductor of and emcee for the CSO’s annual “Merry, Merry Chicago!” holiday concerts at Symphony Center, he is tasked with helping to craft a program that’s both familiar and unique. It’s a tough tightrope to walk."
Chicago Symphony Orchestra blog