Current RSNO assistant conductor Holly Mathieson brings clarity and transparent appreciation for the elegance of the music to the seasonal diet of Strauss waltzes. Not to criticise the fine line-up of guest conductors we have seen already this season, but we do not see her often enough on the podium, where she was also a very informative emcee. This was a concert of charm and sophistication, miles from the barn-storming arena-filling approach that others have inflicted on these beautiful tunes.
The Herald Scotland (Keith Bruce), 2018 (RSNO, Viennese Gala, Stirling)
“... [If] there was an atmosphere conjured up it was mainly due to the efforts of the orchestra under the excellent New Zealand conductor Holly Mathieson. Her gestures were impeccably clear and yet expressive, and the orchestra responded impressively to her way with the score. She naturally feels just the right amount of give and take, enabling the music to flow. The orchestra needs to be extremely flexible to avoid exuding a sort of generalist Gallic feel, and Mathieson was particularly adept at isolating the central feel of a particular section, or following the unfolding drama naturally.”
Seen and Heard International (Colin Clark), 2015 (Holland Park Opera)
...[W]hat we had from the Junior Orchestra of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland on Saturday was a phenomenal display of musicianship. I literally thought, on the night: "These musicians are between eight and 13 years old; what they are achieving here tonight, in a sold-out Greyfriars concert, where the buzz is electric, is genuinely outstanding." Everything they did, guided and released by the charismatic New Zealand conductor Holly Mathieson, from MacCunn's Land of the Mountain and Flood to Gliere's little-known, gloriously-melodic Horn Concerto, came soaring off the page.
The Herald Scotland (Michael Tumelty), 2015 (NYOS Junior Orchestra)