‘We’re the only orchestra that elects its chief conductor’

‘We’re the only orchestra that elects its chief conductor’


norman lebrecht

June 08, 2016

A bold claim here from Stanley Dodds, violinist and media chairman of the Berlin Philharmonic. Some, notably in London, might dispute that claim.

Dodds goes on to describe the process by which candidates are selected and what the orchestra expects from a conductor:

Ein guter Dirigent muss während eines Konzerts in der Lage sein, das Orchester zu begeistern, und für magische Momente sorgen. Wenn man von einem unvergesslichen Konzerterlebnis spricht – dann hat der Dirigent auch eine sehr wichtige Rolle dabei gespielt und dafür gesorgt, dass der Funke überspringt. Ein guter Dirigent setzt die Kräfte der Musiker frei.

More here.

bild petrenko


  • Gerhard says:

    The link seems not to work.

  • Andy says:

    Ofergawdsakes ALL orchestras vote and “elect” their Music Directors. Sheesh.

  • Bennie says:

    Ego never feels full of itself.

  • Bennie says:

    Berliner’s democracy is great – At least something great came out of it (Kirill being elected)

    Look at the democratic election process in America. The best thing came out of that so far is the “Hilary For Prison 2016” merchandise.

    (Google it … I am not joking)

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Sorry Bernie, er Bennie, I just don’t see that merchandise remaining current. All the comments about Dillary and her going to jail are just so much merry-making. Surely the establishment will protect her absolutely.

      My concern is this; how is she going to keep her dog on the porch?

      • MWnyc says:

        Have you seen any recent photos of Bill Clinton?
        He is visibly not nearly as strong or healthy as he used to be, and he has longstanding cardiac trouble (including quadruple bypass surgery a number of years ago).

  • Dan says:

    Certainly not at the MET. Music directors in most orchestras are appointed by heads of state or local stately egoists.

  • herrera says:

    Apparently one of the qualities Berlin does not look for in a music director is availability. As NL has point out many times, Berlin seems to be an afterthought in Kirill’s busy scheduling.

    • Theodore McGuiver says:

      KP’s schedule isn’t that busy, he just doesn’t spread himself as thinly as do some conductors. He’s already turned down conducting opportunities at the NY Phil, amongst others, as he didn’t feel he could do the music justice with the time he felt he had available.

    • Peter says:

      It was not different with Karajan ever.

    • Max Grimm says:

      Or they are willing to wait for the person they consider to be the right and/or best fit (that’s certainly the case when it comes to them filling vacancies).

      “As NL has point out many times, Berlin seems to be an afterthought in Kirill’s busy scheduling.”
      That would certainly be true, if one laboured under the delusion that prominent orchestras and conductors schedule engagements a few weeks in advance.

    • Emil Archambault says:

      Some day, people will perhaps understand that orchestra and opera performances are booked 3-5 years in advance. Dates do not become magically free when a contract is signed, and orchestras and conductors do not keep an MD-sized hole in their diary “just in case” they get a contract. Same goes for Yannick.