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A beloved figure on the Edmonton classical music scene, Bill Eddins is returning to the Winspear Centre stage for Bill Eddins Plays Bach with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO), October 12 and 13.

Get ready for “an entertaining concert full of surprises and delight,” with Bill at the baton and the harpsichord. Indeed “Olga” – the ESO’s Canadian-built, hand-painted harpsichord that arrived just a year ago – will be at the forefront. A “thrilling” evening, it will include both a jubilant triple concerto and a fanfare for organ and brass.

A stalwart on the Winspear stage as Music Director of the ESO for 12 years, Bill now serves as Music Director Emeritus. We checked in with him at his home in Minneapolis, the base from which he travels the world to conduct different orchestras. It’s also the home of MetroNOME, his passion project – a brewery created with the aim of funding music education for children.

Bill, how excellent that you’ll be back in Edmonton. What are you looking forward to, with your time here? 

Making music with my friends and colleagues. That’s always the best part of being anywhere.

You have a long history with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Now as Music Director Emeritus and someone who performs and conducts around the world, what do you love about the ESO? 

Please reference previous answer! Honestly, when you have such a long history with an orchestra you generally know what is going to happen, and you look forward to the collaboration. Plus, there’s being in the Winspear, which I maintain is one of the best halls in the world.

It sounds like there’s a lot happening for you right now. What’s keeping you busy these days? 

There’s this little issue of MetroNOME Brewery keeping me busy. We’re trying a different approach to funding music education, doing it through a for-profit brewery. Being an owner of a small business is no joke in today’s world.

As a classical music guy, what are your thoughts on the fact that CKUA includes several classical music programs each week (including one hosted by Aaron Au, former ESO first violinist)? 

Well, of course I approve. I love that Aaron has his hands in things; he’s a terrific musician. The funny thing is that I don’t listen to classical music. There’s too much of it in my head and it gets overwhelming. Case in point – I’m going to see Peter Gabriel tonight, and I know two people in his band!

Now the fun part where we jam several questions into one! What are: your top three guilty pleasures, your most-played song of the moment and your favorite place to go and think?  

Food, food, and food.

I don’t listen to a ton of music because I’m busy, but I’ve been getting into Tal Wilkenfeld’s latest album, Love Remains. She’s a terrific player/singer.

Bike ride. Definitely.

Bill Eddins Plays Bach is on at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton, October 12 and 13.