Slipped disc conductor is out until May

The young British conductor Robin Ticciati has cancelled this month’s concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra due to a herniated disc.

Robin is laid up somewhere in Europe, unable to travel until the condition eases. We wish him a speedy recovery.

He is next due to conduct in May at Glyndebourne, where he is music director.

robin ticciati

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  • Simon Rattle is on record as having said that if, after conducting the ‘Eroica’ (it may have been Beethoven 7), you do not need to see your osteopath, something was wrong with the performance! Having slipped in my bathroom in my apartment in Stuttgart just before conducting a performance of ‘Werther’ and put my back out, I had to be lifted on to the podium in the orchestra pit at the Stuttgart Staatsoper. I was offered pain-relief injections which I declined and was in such pain that it took several minutes to reach the stage for our curtain calls. So he has my sympathy. Maybe this is what happens to conductors who went to St Paul’s School?

  • I suggest that inappropriate posture has a lot to do with orthopaedic problems of this kind. Whenever I have seen Ticciati conducting I was puzzled by the perpetually hunched shoulders he presented to the audience. That in itself is an indication of a body not in the relaxed mode: tightness and spasms will then often occur, and if the conductor in question twists and turns while conducting the spinal discs will be put under considerable pressure. Not only conductors need to think about a suitable posture: I fear for the many pianists I have seen who hunch themselves up in an apparent effort to devour the keys. Not to be recommended.

  • There are so many conductors these days who seem to think their gyrations and podium antics are entertaining and meaningful. They should watch films made of the likes of Szell, Reiner, Monteux, Boult, Giulini, Strauss, and others who got extraordinary results with minimal movement – just clear, precise batons and facial expressions. This is Bernstein’s real legacy, sorry to say.

    • There’s a lesson how to do it with precise, powerful and clear direction in the Toscanini Beethoven 9 on YouTube.

  • ==Bernstein’s real legacy,

    Bernstein suffered from terrible backache, as documented in the John Gruen book.

  • Rattle is right about the conductor’s performance. As far as music is concerned, that’s an entirely different matter.

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