An orchestra — not in California — is deciding which of five conducting candidates will win a job. In an article I read they provided the reader with a “what our critic said” blurb for each conductor. With names removed, here are those blurbs (GRPR=gender revealing pronoun removed):

  • [Name removed] didn’t directly address the audience, but [GRPR] didn’t ignore it, either. [GRPR] dignified bows and smiles showed [GRPR] appreciated the applause, but [GRPR] also was quick to recognize soloists and key performances throughout.
  • Seeking to allay the concerns of the type of symphony patrons who are averse to new music … [GRPR] noted that when Beethoven’s Fifth premiered, its use of trombone, piccolo and bassoon would have been considered strange and loud. [GRPR] also noted that the premiere came in 1808 — “the year before Lincoln was born.” If nothing else, the [gender revealing noun removed] knows how to play to a Springfield crowd.
  • … stage presence became a little smaller, particularly during (harpist [name removed]) [name removed] extended solos. That’s entirely appropriate when the featured guest is in the spotlight. [Name removed] seemed very confident on the concert closer, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” with larger and more energetic gestures.
  • Of course, the orchestra played the Shostakovich music well and [name removed] … was generous with handshakes and acknowledging soloists. If this is the sort of music we can expect from [GRPR], the orchestra would be in good hands.
  • [name removed] and the orchestra had a lot to juggle, but none of the balls fell to the floor. The performance was confident rather than tentative, and the musicians seemed inspired by playing music they don’t often get to perform.

    Comments? I’m a bit flummoxed.

    Or maybe I just wanted to use that word.


  1. This sounds like a very small town orchestra review.

    On a related note: music politics in small towns is often the WORST. I speak from personal experience.

  2. Now I can’t remember what orchestra it was, Cameron … might have been a small town. Guess I could plug in a line or two into google, but I’m too darn lazy right now!

    I would imagine small towns might be the worst. I’m not at all surprised.