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When were you last excited by a new music director?

June 23, 2017 by norman lebrecht

96 comments.


This morning’s buzz over Alan Gilbert’s appointment as music director in Hamburg is confined strictly to the music business and few media strap-hangers. Gilbert is a decent conductor, in his fifties. Hamburg has a fine hall. But will anything change? Has word of the announcement made your blood race?

What was the last time you leaped up shouting ‘eureka!’ at a music director appointment?

Kirill in Berlin? Mirga in Birmingham? These are rare exceptions.

Mostly, the negotiations take so long and are so leaky that the actual announcement is greeted with ‘yeah, right…’ or ‘same-old, same-old…’

There has to be a better way of introducing a change-maker.

UPDATE: A tweet from the two orchestras concerned:


Comments (96)

  1. Clovis Marques says:

    Irrelevant, Norman. The showbusiness part is not that relevant, really. Let’s get a bit more serious

    1. Peter says:

      well said. we should keep the click-bait perspective out of this.

  2. Manu says:

    You are right but it has to do with the tendency of orchestras to choose low profile personalities or team-players which are more comfortable to work with. But media and audiences prefer excitment and edgy personalities who are selfconfident and have something to say. It is the consequence of the “callme Claudio, not maestro” tendency…

    1. Halldor says:

      If any conductor insisted in being called “maestro” by a UK orchestra, they’d be laughed off the podium – the term is only ever used sarcastically here, though I believe other musical cultures (perhaps less rooted in democratic traditions) are different. In any case, music evolves with society. The greatest living conductors today are collaborators and enablers, not tyrants.

      And my experience of orchestral musicians is that they principally want someone who is a). supremely musical and b). not an arsehole, in that order. They may be flamboyant; they may be modest – it’s not really relevant which. Witness the Birmingham orchestra, which has achieved consistently exceptional artistic results under both extroverts (Rattle & Grazinyte-Tyla) and those who are far more reserved in their public manner (Oramo, Nelsons).

      1. Talking the Talk says:

        Halldor, happy to hear that you are satisfied by that level of conducting, although the abilities and talents of those 4 you mention differ dramatically, so difficult to see how you can lump them all into one equal group in terms of calibre.

        Happy also that -in some cases, that’s all it takes for you to think it ‘exceptional music making’ but I guess being easily satisfied does make life more pleasant.

        The ‘greatest living conductors’ today have done their job very well if you think that under that cloak of ‘enabling’ they have donned, as they have understood it is the only way to conduct themselves in todays world, there isn’t a highly controlling personality at work.

  3. Petros Linardos says:

    My blood raced when I listened online to Kirill Petrenko’s recording of Strauss’ Metamorphosen. I realized that the BPO elected a conductor who can be effective in music that is not fast and loud.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m9aKyGtrnc

    1. John Kelly says:

      Agreed. Also check out his Schmidt 4th Symphony. Stunning.

  4. Gustav Mahler says:

    The only announcement in the past years that showed a perfect match from the artistic point of view was Thielemann going to Dresden. In most cases these kind of news are nothing to write home about. Conductors and “conductors” are here and there and everywhere. This jet-set system produced by their agents to make money is disturbing music by making it interchangeable. It also disturbs the individual character of an orchestra but also produces environmental pollution because they fly to often. I prefer regional cuisine against MacDonalds.

    Orchestras these days take the conductors they can get and if necessary, they share the conductor with another one. Cui bono?

    1. Petros Linardos says:

      Totally agree about Thielemann/Dresden. Chailly/Scala is another.

      1. Peter says:

        Thielemann/Dresden is about to turn into a pact made in hell. Thielemann is impossible to work with. Only possible to work under.

  5. bye bye says:

    Conductors, still in their prime, who move down.

    -GIlbert returning to a second tier orchestra.
    -Rattle from Berlin to London.
    -Gergiev from London to Munich.
    -Parvi from Paris to Tokyo.
    -Chailly from Concertgebouw to Leipzig.

    Could it be that top orchestras seem prestigious but in reality a pain in the ass?

    1. Terry Baxter says:

      Concertgebouw to Leipzig: “move down”???

      1. ben LEGEBEKE says:

        Yes the Concertgebouw is maby still the greatest orchestra of them all. Leipzig is a mediocre band with a very thin stringsound even compared to the great Dresden State orch. I heard all the greatest orchestras on a regular basis. Only Concertgebouw, Vienna phil and CSO are standing out….

        1. Sue says:

          I actually fully agree with your list, having heard them all either ‘at home’ or in the Musikverein. I’d add the BPO, of course, to that list.

        2. Peter says:

          Such absolute statements are a bit silly. All orchestras have good and less good concerts.
          Gewandhaus Leipzig is particularly fluctuating in quality, since it is an orchestra with about 180 positions, so it really depends who is playing, and how they have the repertoire performed under the belt collectively in that particularly roster.

          Also bear in mind, that the quality of an orchestra also depends on its audience…

    2. Terry Baxter says:

      Concertgebouw to Leipzig: “move down”???

      1. NYMike says:

        Yes – good as Leipzig is, RCO is great….

      2. Max Grimm says:

        Yes – move down and right, at least on a map….

  6. Talking the Talk says:

    Norman- what are the qualities of Mirga that you love so much, interested to know if you’ve heard her live and if so what was it that so captured your imagination and ‘made your blood race’?

    Your observations and impressions may go some way to stopping the negativity -apart from the already converted- that surrounds her conducting in some quarters.

    1. Anon says:

      May be Mirga has some special chemistry with CBSO players. Right now, she is not not among the top young conductors to many musicians who have played with her in US.

  7. Cecylia Arzewski says:

    Kirill is one of the greats! It’s about making the right choice and that is what Berlin did!

  8. Ungeheuer says:

    Andris Nelsons seems to be doing right by the Boston Symphony. Listen to their new set of the Brahms symphonies to hear what I mean. He is doing better than right: he is doing excellent or above it.

    1. Just Derek says:

      I Agree. I have seen many Andris Nelsons concerts. In my opinion he is the best that I have seen and one of the best there has ever been! My heart does race when I have an opportunity to attend one of his concerts.

      1. Ungeheuer says:

        Not to mention above excellent work with the Leipzig. Their recording of the Bruckner 3rd is outstanding.

        1. Just Derek says:

          Agreed again and they are a top quality orchestra.

          1. nimitta says:

            When I heard the BSO had signed Andris Nelsons, my heart raced a little. His first tryouts with them – a last-minute substitution in NY for the Mahler 9th, a Tch 5 in Boston – had been superb. Furthermore, the players had taken to him at once and performed magnificently under his baton, not unlike bands in Amsterdam, Bayreuth, Berlin, Birmingham, London, Lucerne, and Vienna. Even with the many outstanding young conductors in the running (Daniele Gatti, Vladimir Jurowski, Stéphane Denève, Juanjo Mena, Giancarlo Guerrero) and a few acclaimed veterans as well, I knew Nelsons would be The One if the BSO could get him.

            His first three seasons with the BSO have been spectacular. The orchestra is currently in the midst of recording a thrilling Shostakovich cycle, whose 10th Symphony immediately won a Grammy. Nelsons has an uncanny feel for this composer, as well as Strauss – the BSO’s performances of Salome, Don Quixote, Ein Heldenleben, Elektra, and Der Rosenkavalier have all been widely acclaimed. A Bruckner cycle is also unwinding, brilliantly, and Nelsons has brought commitment and dazzling craft to the considerable roster of new music and BSO commissions. I find his approach to the more classic, familiar repertoire refreshing and frequently revelatory – most recently, in Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Mahler (4, 6, and 9).

            Of course, Nelsons is no old school ‘maestro’. My sense is that orchestras regard him as ‘one of us’ – an inspiring colleague who leads by virtue of his intelligence, sensitivity and insight. A singer, he brings real mastery to the art of accompaniment; a trumpeter, he knows what the orchestra sounds like from back to front. Not all Bostonions agree, naturally, but I’d say most of us are excited and eagerly looking forward to each new season.

    2. Olassus says:

      Another atrocious, amateurish album cover.

      https://www.bso.org/brands/bso/shop/brahms-symphonies-2017.aspx

      *the bad image-cropping
      *the poor placement of the type
      *the line-break in the orchestra’s name
      *the stating of AN’s title

      And DG wasn’t interested, so for local targeting only.

  9. The mysterious violist says:

    Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the MET.

    1. Ungeheuer says:

      Surely you jest

      1. NYMike says:

        First, YNS is keeping his Philly job. Second, although Philly didn’t make the Gramophone “top 20 list” some years back, it is arguably a top 5 ensemble.

        1. Frederick West says:

          I’d agree and add, judging by the flippant and wishy washy standard of the Gramophone these days that their polls and judgements are not to be taken seriously at all. A pale shadow of what it used to be.

          1. Ben says:

            God bless you for saying that. That list is probably compiled by a drunk who never attends any live concert (I am not implying that drunk is Alison V from Philadelphia)

            🙂

    2. Mark says:

      Yannick compared to Levine’s is like Lena Dunham compared to Audrey Hepburn …

      1. Mark says:

        Levine, not Levine’s

  10. David Nice says:

    We have excellent chief conductors in charge of every London orchestra. And in most of the rest of the UK too (I have some Elder problems, but that may be just me). Hrusa was a brilliant choice for Bamberg after Jonathan Nott; Paavo Jarvi will transform the Tonhalle Zurich. Usw usw. Though we may not use the term ‘maestro’ – Colin Davis always hated it – there is no myth about the swathe of great conductors on the planet today.

    1. Olassus says:

      As Ungeheuer would say, surely you jest.

      1. David Nice says:

        So perhaps explain why you think so, instead of vaguely snarking. What or who do YOU respect?

        1. Olassus says:

          Okay …

          LSO – 0
          LPO – Jurowski
          RPO – Dutoit
          Philh – Salonen
          BBC – Oramo
          ROH – Pappano

          I’d cite one name on that list, and we all know which one.

          “Hrůša was a brilliant choice for Bamberg”
          — they had better finalists and blew it

          “Paavo Jarvi will transform the Tonhalle”
          — he’s a technical conductor

  11. Mogens says:

    The Danish National Symphony Orchestra reacted with cheers and shouts when they received the news about the apointment of Fabio Luisi.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E88LOV74kCo

  12. Elizabeth Owen says:

    Anyone seen guest conductor at the Philharmonic (I think) Andres Orozco Estrada someone to watch for the future???

  13. Jon H says:

    Everyone wants an exciting MD but with all that exposure, exciting doesn’t really last. Interesting is perhaps a better word.

    1. Jon H says:

      And the most exciting conductors in the world weren’t always loved by the musicians.

    2. Jon H says:

      The most exciting were better as guest conductors.

  14. Pedro says:

    A few years ago, I heard Brahms 4 by Thielemann and the Munich Phil. in Brussels. The performance really catched fire, as in an old Furtwängler recording I own. Two or three days later in Paris, Gilbert and the NY Phil. presented the same symphony. Nothing happened.

    1. Gustav Mahler says:

      You hit the nail on the head!

      1. MacroV says:

        I generally like Gilbert, but even I would expect Thielemann to be more compelling in big segments of repertoire.

    2. Olassus says:

      Genau.

  15. John Kelly says:

    Yannick going to the Phillies. Muti in Chicago. Nelsons in Boston.

    1. Olassus says:

      Muti and Nelsons will soon be saying goodbye.

      1. Stephen Owades says:

        Andris Nelsons has a contract (recently extended) with the Boston Symphony through the 2021–22 season, with an “evergreen” renewing clause beyond that. On what basis do you claim he will “soon be saying goodbye”? As someone who works regularly with him as part of the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus, I can attest to the fact that he is very well liked by audiences, players, Singers, and management here.

        1. Olassus says:

          He won’t be staying past 2022, and, because of the evergreen clause, will relatively soon have to give notice. That people like him in Boston, that the tenure is a success, is not disputed.

        2. Olassus says:

          … and a music directorship differs from a gym membership in that you cannot expect to trip someone up into extending by failing to give notice. The clause is ludicrous.

  16. Pedro says:

    Answering to Norman. The last time was in 1955 when Karajan succeeded Furtwängler in Berlin. After that, a few things happened but nothing at the same level.

    1. Fred says:

      Not Bernstein at the NY Phil in ’58?

      1. Gaffney Feskoe says:

        Or Szell in Cleveland.

  17. AAA says:

    Noseda at NSO

    1. Willow35 says:

      Yes!!! Noseda to NSO!!!! Great choice!!!!

      1. Zebra says:

        Agreed!!! NSO/Noseda…fantastic indeed!!

  18. MacroV says:

    Solti to CSO in 1969?

    Philly went fairly wild for Muti in 1980 – “Tutti per Muti” was a thing for a while.

    But who needs such hysteria? Gilbert, I will readily admit, is rarely one of the most compelling interpreters of wide segments of symphonic repertoire, but a music director needs to be as much organizational leader and curator. He needs to build programs – his own and those of others – that show a compelling reason for being. To give the orchestra a reason for getting up in the morning. Gilbert showed in New York he had a lot of good ideas of how to make an orchestra interesting. He can bring in guest conductors to give urtext readings of Brahms symphonies, while he steers the organization toward relevance.

    1. Pedro says:

      I agree with you if Gilbert brings Haitink, Barenboim, Gatti, Salonen, Yannick, Nelsons, Muti, Thielemann, Mehta and Noseda to conduct his orchestra in the main repertoire. These are my favourite living conductors… I look forward to listen to Mirga next fall in Antwerp ( with the CBSO ) and then in Paris ( with the OPRF ).

    2. Barry says:

      I recall Muti inspiring a lot of excitement among younger Philadelphians, especially females who otherwise had no interest in classical music and probably had no interest after he left.

      He also had to be at least somewhat of a breath of fresh air after over 40 years of Ormandy. And I’m an Ormandy fan, but it was time for a change at that point and the change couldn’t have been any more dramatic.

      In retrospect, Muti inspired excitement early on and among people who weren’t necessarily classical fans, but I and other local friends of mine who attended concerts during that era don’t look back at his tenure with a whole lot of fondness in terms of both what he did to the sound of the orchestra and, generally speaking, his interpretive style.

      On the other hand, Sawallisch seemed like a boring caretaker when he first came to Philly. By the time he left, I loved him. I still consider the period around the turn of the century to be the best for the Orchestra since I started attending concerts in the 80s. The Orchestra’s sound had more heft than it did under Muti and Sawallisch conducted many exciting performance of the standard repertoire, albeit after the Orchestra had lost their recording contract.

      1. Petros Linardos says:

        I’d be interested to hear your take on how Muti affected the Ormandy sound.

        While I never heard Ormandy live, I was totally blown away by the orchestra’s sonority under Muti, in two concerts I heard at the Vienna Musikverein in 1984. I remember the Mahler 1st and especially Frank d minor symphonies were magic. That said, I found the sound more interesting than Muti’s interpretations. To my then young ears, the Philadelphia sound I heard was much richer than that of the Vienna Philharmonic under just about anybody or even the BPO under Karajan. Perhaps only Kleiber at the State Opera did better, but that can only be a complement for Philadelphia/Muti. So I never understood the criticisms against Muti at Philadelphia.

        Thirteen years later, however, when I heard them play Brahms at the Academy under Sawallisch, I found their music making seemed warmer, and credited Sawallisch for that.

        1. Barry says:

          When I wrote that I’m an Ormandy fan, I was basing that on studio and live recordings I’ve heard. I didn’t start going to concerts until right after he retired from conducting, I think a couple years before he died.

          And this is obviously subjective. The sound profile I like may not appeal to you. But I noticed a pretty big difference in the Orchestra’s overall sound after Sawallisch replaced Muti. The strings were fuller and the brass was more blended in. Yet the overall sound was very powerful; almost like a big wall of sound at times. I loved it for Romantic music and even a memorable performance of the Eroica in ’01 or ’02, shortly before they left the Academy of Music.

          1. Petros Linardos says:

            Thank you Barry. Very interesting insights.
            Actually I do like the Philadelphia/Ormandy sound a lot, for 19th century music – but not necessarily for earlier.

        2. Barry says:

          I should have added to that last reply that the fact that you saw Muti and the Philadelphia on tour in Europe, while I saw them at the Academy of Music, could at least partially explain our different memories of them.

          I’ve heard recordings of a couple performances they gave on European tours in the 80s and I had the impression that he was pushing the Orchestra or showing off to an extent he didn’t normally do for regular subscription concerts. I couldn’t imagine the Muti of today doing things like that. I get the impression that he’d consider it vulgar.

          1. Sue says:

            I saw Muti twice in the Musikverein, the last time in 2015. He conducted Beethoven #3, if I remember, but I definitely remember, during the break, discussing him with the woman sitting next to me and agreeing that his Beethoven tempi leave a lot to be desired.

            But these discussions on this page are wonderful; keep them up!!!!

          2. Barry says:

            I have had similar feelings about the tempi of a number of Muti-led performances I’ve heard over the years. At times, I get the feeling he is so intent on avoiding any sort of vulgarity that he saps the life out of the the music. The finale of Brahms’ second symphony in later performances that I’ve heard online is a good example. I also thought a relatively recent Schubert ninth was deadly dull in that sense. But he always shows a tremendous mastery of orchestral textures and getting whatever he wants out of the CSO or whatever orchestra he is leading. And he sometimes surprises me, as in Bruckner’s 6th, which I’ve heard him lead brilliantly with multiple orchestras via online broadcasts.

  19. Cubs Fan says:

    Reading all these comments it makes me kind of sad that so much importance is placed on conductors when the real heroes of any concert are the composers. For me, the great conductors are those who are willing to take on unknown, rare repertoire and bring it to life. I get excited by seeing great names on concert announcements: Bax, Korngold, Vaughan Williams, Schmidt…and others who appear too rarely so that these so-called “great” conductors can do Beethoven, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky one more time.

  20. Iain Scott says:

    There you all go again living in your own little echo chamber ignoring that fact that the seriously exciting appointment is Thomas Sondergard at the RSNO. This guy is just wonderful and by all accounts the orchestra loves him and why shouldn’t they when he delivers such stunning performances.
    You all need to get out more and visit Scotland.

  21. Ben says:

    I felt extraordinarily excited when Berliner announced their next music director (is neither AN nor CT).

  22. Luigi Nonono says:

    I’m convinced one of the big reasons Musical America failed as a publication was that it was focused on the business of classical music, the big business, at that, and forgot that it was supposed to be an art form, much like slippedisc. And now we have no national classical music magazine in America.

    1. Cubs Fan says:

      That’s not entirely true. I have a couple of copies of MA from the 1950s. They are large, thick, slickly produced and quite impressive – and very interesting. But MA still lives on, albeit in much, much smaller form in the bi-monthly American Record Guide. We used to have several fine classical magazines which have vanished. I particularly miss Ovation.

  23. Save the MET says:

    Gilbert is a dull conductor. The New York Philharmonic hired him at a time they did not want to spend serious money on a conductor and they are the poorer for it. Muti would have been a superb choice, but they did not want to pay his price and Chicago did and are reaping the rewards. Most in New York are delighted Gilbert is going. He was never a NYPhil quality Music Director.

  24. Ben says:

    I have a funny feeling that Dudamel will be the next music director of NY Phil once the Zaap dictatorship is over.

    1. Clovis says:

      Has it begun for anyone to know it will be so?

  25. Vengerov Maxim says:

    Dear friends,

    There are so many wonderful people out there in the ‘shade’, some unfortunately unemployed, just because the decision-making power often belongs with those who are not qualified to make the right selection for the position of a music director, for instance. This discussion is important and I’d like to contribute to your worthy comments and observations.
    Allow me to express a humble opinion of an active musician.
    This is how I envision the hierarchy, or layers, of the classical music industry:

    1. God.
    Anything we create in life must lead to Almighty. There has to be a sense of the mission of music, the higher purpose of making a spiritual connection between music and the human soul.

    2. Politicians.
    We need the wise, educated and selfless leaders who place the needs and interests of people above their own political careers. Their mission should be to uplift the state of society, to recognize the importance of human expression through arts, to balance the greater need of humanity through spiritual wellbeing, education, sports, high technology, arts, entertainment etc.

    3. Composers.
    They are the organic fiber of every society. They create the reflection and ideas for musicians to bring into the world. Fashion of the performance may change with time, but composers are eternal.

    4. Musicians.
    Fritz Kreisler once said: “every musician has the right to call him or herself a musical priest”.
    The chief aim of the musician is to never lose sight of the fact that music is a spiritual path to God or godliness. A soloist, a member of an orchestra, an opera diva or a chorus singer—we all should seek the connection with God and serve as a conduit for our audiences. Then the connection happens naturally, enabling us to believe in a higher authority and divine space in nature, in our human experience. Music is more than entertainment—it is a spiritual act!
    Just take an example of Victor Borge. One can never get enough of his subtle, entertaining, soulful and uplifting shows. The majority of us can distinguish between an extraordinary performance and a bad one.
    The danger however lies with “recognized mediocrity.” Unfortunately, there are so many musicians out there who don’t see their mission in serving God, music and people. They only work for themselves. They might be charismatic and skillfulon the surface, but there is no soulful essence within them. It is akin a fake gold that shines. Without the sense of wonder and awe, without the higher purpose, these musicians fail to touch their audiences in a long lasting way. That is why these musicians have to rely heavily on the marketing campaigns in order to compensate for the absent of genuine talents. Worshiping or serving people like these is either an act of ignorance or a deliberate pact with the devil.

    For me, the first thing Music Director must do is to transmit his or her ideas of the sound and form and the performing style identity in accordance with the existing style of the orchestra and the style of the works they perform. So, ideally, you would hear an orchestra and immediately recognize it: this isFurtwängler with the Berliner Philharmoniker or Günther Wand with NDR. This is more challenging now because Maestros often wish to have two or three jobs at the same time. This is similar to a violinist playing a different violin every day. In my humble opinion, this is about power and not about music anymore.
    Quite often a conductor does not have much of an idea about the coloring of the sound or the character of the style and subsequently won’t be transmitting it to the orchestra. I have to admit that times are forgiving today for such a ‘detail.’ We are living in the age of globalization when hardly anybody brings up a concern about the sound individuality of the orchestras. But we must remember— music IS about the sound, its inimitability and personality. That’s how we recognize a singer by the uniqueness of her or his voice. Before going into a debate, I suggest we listen to the early recordings of different orchestras, instrumentalists and operas and compare them with today’s recordings. The facts will speak by themselves.

    Don’t get me wrong—there are exceptions! There are some magnificent performances and recordings today, but they are fewer than there were 20 or 30 years ago. And that is why we are losing our audiences for classical music: the soul has been left behind, the performances are often bland and faceless, and the musicians are devoid of their own unique message.

    5. Marketing and Media.
    This is the business force behind the music scene that makes the industry work through its contacts with government officials, donors, and managements. Marketing and Media support are the last in my hierarchy but not the least. Their main goal is to free musicians from the ‘business end’ and to allow them to concentrate purely on their artistic mission.

    We have a long way to go. It’s an exciting and inspiring journey. I’m blessed to be a musician!
    Thank you for reading.

    Maxim Vengerov

    1. Just Derek says:

      Thank you for your observations and detailed explanation. It provides a great deal of food for thought and perspective.

    2. Rachael Young says:

      God bless you for writing this Maxim

      Unfortunately in my experience many many people do not appear to be able to distinguish between the artistic offerings and quality of older artists in comparison with the relative poverty of many performances today and this is a big problem, in the kingdom of the blind…

      If what you write above is truly what you believe, surely you are in some position – unlike some of us- to do whatever you can to help create music and music making more in line with your beliefs and the philosophy you espouse here. With all my heart look forward to seeing some results of this.

    3. Natalia Luis-Bassa says:

      Brilliant!
      Thank you, Mr. Vengerov!

    4. Gustav Mahler says:

      Dear Mr. Vengerov! Many thanks for your clear words. I totally agree with everything you are saying. Yours, Gustav Mahler

      1. Olassus says:

        Even though he puts you AFTER the politicians?

    5. Mark says:

      “The soul has been left behind, the performances are often bland and faceless, and the musicians are devoid of their own unique message.”

      Indeed ! Thank you for your perceptive comment, Mr. Vengerov !

  26. ben LEGEBEKE says:

    Concertgebouw,
    Vienna Phil,
    Berlin Phil,
    CSO,
    Cleveland Orch.
    LSO
    These are nowadays the only top orchestras left….

    1. NYMike says:

      Hearing all the above-mentioned in NY almost every season, I’m astounded that you would leave out Philadelphia since, for my ears (I’m a retired professional musician), it ranks with Amsterdam as the two most integrated and recognizable ensembles.

    2. Iain Scott says:

      You don’t get out much do you! Is this based on recordings?
      Seriously this thread -bar Maxim Vengeriv’s contribution- is pretty atrocious.
      Wallowing in the past, I’ll wager you’re all armchair concert goers. Anyway the really exciting music making happens in the unexpected places, when great players meet a like minded conductor.

      1. Olassus says:

        Lay off criticizing Slipped Disc readers as a group.

      2. Talking the Talk says:

        Very sorry that your unable to understand or empathise with the sentiments above, just for the record I’m anything but an armchair concert goer and your comments unfortunately give the impression your somewhat self satisfied and pompous trying desperately to stay down with the kids. Good luck, it’s a very slippery slope.

  27. Vengerov Maxim says:

    Speaking of young conductors – Krzysztof Urbanski. I personally find him quite inspiring.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hsEVkcQ0otw
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EjLd2i5jHpY

    1. Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

      @Vengerov Maxim
      Are you going to give concerts with Mr. Urbanski in the near future? If yes, could you tell me when and where? Thank you.

  28. Clovis says:

    Can’t help finding a bit overblown all this “debate” in form of adoration of the conductor figure. They all do their best with what is within their grasp, considering it’s notated music they are giving life to, considering the musicians are the ones that play; some may in fact be often or eventually more inspired or talented or hard-working or perceptive or musical etc.; a very few sometimes might be said to be real geniuses to the point of really making a difference (Kleiber fils, Celibidache, Svetlanov?, I would say…)… But these emphatic preferences and rejections and passions and hatred and lovemaking when it comes to conductors… A bit childish

    1. Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

      @Clovis
      You are absolutely right. Unfortunately, idol worship seems to be a basic need of human being. Nevertheless, in comparison to other forms of blind and childish hero worship, the adoration of a few star conductors is still relatively harmless. So please take it easy and don’t be too critical. We folks just want to have fun. Thank you.

  29. Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

    May I give my answer? The last time I got excited about a new music director was when Nathalie Stutzmann became the leader of Orfeo 55. Besides singing, she is an absolutely wonderful conductor, just quietly making good music and interesting projects without much media hype. Please check out her recordings and concerts. Thank you.

  30. Just Derek says:

    Nimitta,

    Your words reflect EXACTLY what I felt about Andris at the CBSO. I could not have said it better and that is why I didn’t comment further, at the time.
    However, having read them again I am very happy that so many are able to enjoy his concerts in Boston. I want to wish you many more memorable performances.
    I will attend his concerts in England when possible (and hopefully elsewhere sometimes).

    1. nimitta says:

      Thanks, JD! I was fortunate enough to hear Andris conduct the BSO last week at Tanglewood in a program of Ravel, Haydn, Adès, and a sublime Mozart 20th piano concerto with Daniil Trifonov. So well-played and well-led! My informants tell me the following evening’s concert performance of Das Rheingold was marvelous as well.


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