05. December 2006 · Comments Off on Conductorless · Categories: imported, Ramble

There’s an article in SF Gate about the orchestra I’m in. Symphony Silicon Valley doesn’t have a permanent conductor, and the article deals with that. We work with a variety of conductors, although it’s not often that we have seven different conductors for the seven concert series we do. The article implies that, but usually some of the conductors come several times in the year. This year we will see Joseph Silverstein twice.

I’m okay with having all these different conductors, although there are problems. I think most orchestras identity is very focussed on the conductor. We don’t have that, and it seems we don’t really have any clear identity. We’ve also had a few conductors that were … well … less than stellar in the past. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, though, I’ll never say a negative word about a conductor I work with. It simply isn’t wise to do so. And we manage to play fairly well even with some of the conductors I don’t care for. We’ve received some of our best reviews, in fact, when we’ve played under a conductor that drove me batty!

One thing I’ve noticed in reviews, by the way: if the orchestra plays very well the conductor gets major kudos and seems to get all the credit. If the orchestra gets a bad review, the reviewer tends to blame the musicians. That gets very tiring. And I can’t tell you how horrible it is to read, “Maestro X really coaxed good music out of the orchestra,” as if we can’t do it on our own. Trust me, we can! 🙂

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