I am officially skeptical of Music Director positions in general. It reminds me of the race for the Presidency – why would you spend two years of your life running around, getting trashed by the opposition, only to get elected and then be blamed for all the world’s problems? In the music biz sometimes people don’t even wait for you to officially start your tenure. In the past couple of weeks I’ve read media reports bashing both Gilbert and Eschenbach, and if memory serves they don’t even start their gigs until next season. Yikes.

Bill Eddins, on his way soon to Berkeley Symphonywrote the above. I’ve never heard Berkeley Symphony or played under the current conductor, (UCSC and SFSU grad) Kent Nagano, but I have friends who play in it. Guess I should check ’em out sometime, yes? It’s just a crummy drive. (Many of my friends will scoff at me if they read this; they drive down here from that area all the time. I just don’t like the drive!)

I wonder how many conductors they are auditioning.

No behind the screen audition for a conductor, eh? 😉

I’ve only had one experience going through the whole “choose a conductor thing” and it was a difficult thing to do. You don’t really know what you are getting until you actually hire someone. You aren’t necessarily seeing the “all of it” until they’ve signed on the dotted line. Then it’s sort of too late, you know?

Here in SSV we don’t have that issue (currently) since we have no permanent conductor. There are advantages and disadvantages about this, and I go back and forth on what I’d like. I’m wishy-washy that way.

1 Comment

  1. I think the biggest drawback of not having a permanent conductor is in fund raising. Lots of conductors only keep their jobs through fund raising and getting the members of the board to think they’re indispensable. But, getting money for the orchestra is critical to it’s survival.