Does the baton pass from father to son?

Ten cases to consider:

1 Arvid and Mariss Jansons


2 Neeme and Paavo Järvi

3 Kurt and Michael Sanderling

4 Erich and Carlos Kleiber

5 Arman and Philippe Jordan

6 Marcello and Lorenzo Viotti

7 Michail and Vladimir Jurowski

8 Leopold and Walter Damrosch

9 Georg-Alexander and Marc Albrecht

10 Kurt and Ken-David Masur

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  • Where are the women!? We demand every orchestra needs to have a “Bring Your Daughter Day to Work” to address the systemic sexism.

    • The Bach, Couperin and Scarlatti families. But they’re not conductors, I know!!! But they passed the musical baton, as it were.

  • I would add Mehli Mehta and his son Zubin

    Lahav Shani’s father- Michael- is a well known choral conductor in Israel

    and Neeme Jarvi is also the father of Kristjan..not just Paavo

    • Louis is always at the Barbican when his son’s LSO Chorus are performing. They are both gentlemen and always chat with me. Louis is in his 80’s now but looks a lot younger!

  • Miltiades and Constantinos Carydis. Constantinos is now a young, rising conductor. His late father was no international star, but had a respectable career, primarily in Germany, Austria and Greece.

  • To 7: Michail Jurowski has now got a second son with a baton: Dmitri is done with the violoncello (he’s got rheuma, the poor guy) and is now conducting, too.

  • I think it certainly helps and so do record companies and orchestras (they can build on an established “name”). Witness Ken-David Masur, a gifted musician and good conductor, but Milwaukee auditioned a number of good other ones but chose Masur, I think, because of the name and connotations.

    So is it a good or bad thing? Probably a bit of both (if you are one of the competitors it is not so good).

    I’m not knocking Ken-David who is a fine musician and person and fully deserving of his new positions (he’s also in Chicago). But definitely, his name helped him.

    • An illustrious name initially opens doors but later becomes too high a yardstick to measure against, especially if stays in the same field. Examples abound, not only in music.

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