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just me, my thoughts, and experiences.

Archive for conductor

Women conductors?

marin.jpgGreat article in The New York Times yesterday about women conductors, and particularly Marin Alsop. I had an opportunity to work at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz last year, but couldn’t make the move. She’s a tremendous force, and a wonderful conductor and innovator in the field dominated by men.

Here’s an excerpt, and you can see the full article here:

THE conductor Marin Alsop has strong artistic convictions that she puts into practice and expounds on readily. But there is one aspect of her career that she has been ambivalent about discussing: Ms. Alsop is a notable woman in a field that for whatever reasons continues to be dominated by men.

In September Ms. Alsop, 51, began her tenure as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, making her the first woman to assume the leadership of a major American orchestra. When I, along with other reporters and critics, made this point in covering her appointment and, more recently, the concerts that commenced her directorship, there were howls of protest from loyal supporters of JoAnn Falletta, the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra since 1999. But with all due respect to Ms. Falletta and her adventurous orchestra, from an industry perspective — in terms of budget, location, schedule, touring, recording and other factors — the Baltimore Symphony is generally viewed as a major American orchestra while the Buffalo Philharmonic, however fine, is not quite.

Whatever the case, Ms. Alsop’s appointment is a landmark. It is certainly being treated that way by the international news media, not to mention the marketing department of the Baltimore Symphony, which has mounted a promotional campaign inviting music lovers to join the “maestra” as she makes history.


a symphony post deserved

I had to talk about the amazing article in today’s SF Chronicle about the tremendous performance by the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel.


And, here’s why I’m interested. First, I love classical music and seeing passionate young musicians is always inspiring. Secondly, Gustavo’s next step is taking the baton from famed LA Philharmonic conductor Esa Pekka Salonen in a few years. This is just an example of how their gamble may have already paid off. Any of my old friends from LA Phil care to get me in on his first conducting appearance in LA???? <just kidding, i’ll pay!!>

Here’s an excerpt:

“If you were to judge the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela solely from the exhilarating video clip that’s been making the rounds on the Internet – the one of the young players and their music director, Gustavo Dudamel, kicking the stuffing out of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mambo” at London’s Royal Albert Hall in August – you might easily conclude that this is one of the most dynamic and daring ensembles around.

And if you caught their remarkable concert in Davies Symphony Hall on Sunday night, you’d know you were right.”

Read the rest of the article here.