Is there a conductor in the house? No, I’m a doctor

Is there a conductor in the house? No, I’m a doctor


norman lebrecht

March 21, 2021

The audience at a concert of Symphony Nova Scotia musicians were surprised when informed of a last minute programme change.

They weren’t told in advance who was meant to be c onducting and there were gasps of amazement when it turned out to be the man of the moment – Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, leader of the battle against Covid-19.




  • RW2013 says:

    It’s harder than you think. Keep your day job.

    • Michael says:

      The Doctor’s day job is keeping hundreds of thousands safe and healthy. And he evidently loves music. What, pray tell, have you contributed to society, aside from cynical remarks?

    • Gerry McDonald says:

      Remember Geoffrey Tate was a doctor!

    • D says:

      This was not an act of vanity, like when wealthy businessmen pay large sums for the chance to fulfill their daydreams of “leading” an orchestra; this was clearly a gesture of goodwill on the part of the Symphony, inviting the province’s chief medical officer to briefly take the podium both to thank him for guiding the community through this crisis and to send a signal that it is becoming safer to congregate once more as an audience. Politicians are invited to do this from time to time; nobody thinks they believe themselves to be capable conductors–we all recognize that it’s just a fun gesture to acknowledge the orchestra’s contributions to civic life beyond the concert hall. No harm (or self-aggrandizement) in that.

  • John Chunch says:

    Well done Symphony Nova Scotia. All glory to our Covid high priests! We have to worship the people whose gross overreaction to the virus shut down our industry for one year and counting.

  • BP says:

    As long as it’s not the patient lying on the operating table who’s getting a big surprise, I’m fine with it.

  • Alex says:

    I’m a musician. I would love to guest operate some of his patient. Must be fun!

  • Gerry McDonald says:

    Boyd Neel was a doctor!

  • Dave says:

    I can think of a few conductors who should be doctored.

  • Genius Repairman says:

    The conspiracy theorists were right all along! The pandemic was created to further the maestro ambitions of Chief Health Officers worldwide.

  • Emil says:

    ‘Leaders and deciders must show they value the arts and recognise the value of music’
    *Leader does that by showcasing a symphony orchestra and giving an interview about the importance of performance arts*