Can you imagine being told by the conductor that you must apologize to the chorus if you, as an instrumentalist, made a mistake?

Aykal has an excellent temperament and balanced approach; a redoubtable task-master and charismatic wit. The first wrong note was met with a glare, and an instruction to the poor culprit – an oboist I think – to apologize to the choir in perfect English. He did it and the tense moment became an ice-breakingly funny one.

Maybe this is a young group and this is funny to them. To me it would be horrifying. Not that I wouldn’t be sorry, but to have a conductor issue this demand … yikes!

Perhaps I’m missing something and it was all done in great humor. Who knows? I wasn’t there ….

(Found here.)


  1. I think the temptation for me would be to apologize to the chorus… for having to experience the bad temper of the conductor.

  2. I suppose it could be a cultural thing (this was in Istanbul) or, perhaps, the tone of voice used was more light than the blog entry implies … but, knowing conductors, I’m guessing not.

    Ah well. Conductors …!

  3. I guess that means, don’t mess up! haha

  4. If only we all were perfect, yes?

    (Name please! 🙂

  5. Just a note to assure you that Maestro Gurer Aykal is the kindest, most gracious, charming and humerous man on earth. He was the conductor of the El Paso Symphony for 12 years, and it was a honeymoon the whole time. The orchestra is still, after 4 years, grieving his departure. EPSO lost its tuba player to blood poisoning in November, and Mr. Aykal called the man’s mother, from Turkey, to offer his condolences – typical heartfelt behaviour from him.