I was talking to a colleague in the orchestra tonight and she was saying she wished we’d just hire Paul Polivnick as our permanent conductor. I know what she means. He’s clear. He knows what he wants and seems to know how to go about getting it (I hope he feels as if he’s getting it, anyway!). He is good with time (both rehearsal time and “time-time” if you know what I mean). I think we perform well under his leadership. I don’t know, though, what a lot of others think. I haven’t spoken to many about him, although the ones I am near all like him on the podium.

I’m often amazed to hear different musicians talk about the same conductor. You’d think we were on different planets. It seems as if we were certainly at different rehearsals and performances. It often has something to do with our instrument, but not always. I doubt very much an entire orchestra would ever agree on one candidate.

In our case, though, there doesn’t seem to be any candidates. We hire guest conductors for everything. It does keep things “interesting”, that’s for sure. (And no, I won’t tell you which conductors I thought were horrible, although I feel quite free to rave about the ones I like!)

I think a permanent conductor would give us an identity that would be beneficial. It would add consistency as well. It would also, of course, be costly. So that is a problem. Maybe that is the problem.

Anyway, the Amram is great fun to play and I thought tonight’s run through of it went well, aside from one very stupid English horn player who bungled up two measures. (She promises to do better tomorrow!)


  1. Jennifer Grucza

    Is it really more expensive to have a permanent conductor than a guest
    conductor?  Somehow I would have thought it was the other way

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    We’ve been told it is more expensive, unless we go for someone not-so-great. I dunno, to be honest. I do know it’s horribly expensive to live here, and we only do seven sets a year right now, so we probably couldn’t get a conductor to actually reside in the city.

    Hmmm … now if he/she were to get the Opera San José job as well … that could make it more enticing.

    Double Hmmm.

    (But I have no clout whatsoever, so any “hmming” I do is only to myself.)