Conductors must give unmistakable and suggestive signals to the orchestra—not choreography to the audience.

-George Szell

(It seemed a good—make that safe!—week to post this, as I have no work with a conductor, so no one should make the false assumption that I’m commenting on one particular conductor!)

2 Comments

  1. Funny, I was just talking about this subject with some orchestra
    friends last night after rehearsal.  Our conductor is superb at
    communicating with the orchestra, but a few of us had played in a
    different orchestra with a different conductor.  We were talking
    about how that conductor was musical, but didn’t always do the best job
    of showing the beat and communicating using the standard conductor
    motions.  I know it frustrated me quite a bit to play with him,
    especially since some of the music we played was not so easy
    rhythmically!

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    Conducting is, to me, sometimes a mystery; I’ll watch a conductor on the TV and wonder how the heck an orchestra can follow, and yet they play so well together. We had one conductor who was pretty darn awful and we received rave reviews.

    But, for the most part, those that perform for the audience rather than work with the orchestra drive me batty!

    Too bad the audience doesn’t get it. :-(