Pianist says you can’t be an artist and run a festival

The Swiss pianist Oliver Schnyder has resigned as head of Davos before his first festival has come to fruition.

‘Unfortunately Oliver Schnyder has informed us that his artistic-interpretive and pedagogical activities were incompatible with the role of an artistic director,’ said the festival chairman.

In other words, you can’t eat your cake and have it.

Oliver will see out next summer’s festival, leaving at the end of August.


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  • I once organized a chamber music festival. In the end, its success could not compensate for two years leave of my own work. It’s really a very different wave length. On the other hand, for artists it is very instructive to be, once in a while, submerged into the practical details and stresses of such undertaking, because it enhances your respect for the people who do this on a day to day basis.

  • Levine was artistic director (although I am sure he had much more help than Schnyder) of the Met while he still did a lot of conducting and teaching but I guess conducting is a different psychological dynamic than actually being a soloist.

    Just today I read a magazine article which said that successful true multitasking, that is, actually having your mind on two things and doing two tasks simultaneously (liking working on something while texting about something else) is not possible for a human being.

    When one wears two hats in full time work not only does one have keep switching psychological modes, one has to be an incredible time manager, that is, if both hats mean that one is doing most of the actual work for both jobs and not just having the title. It takes a special type of person.

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