Young conductor jumps in for world premiere

Young conductor jumps in for world premiere


norman lebrecht

November 19, 2021

Music director Thomas Dausgaard has fallen sick and will miss tonight’s Seattle Symphony concert.

It includes Amy Beach’s rarely performed Gaelic Symphony and the world premiere of a double harp concerto ‘The Peril of Dreams’ by Hannah Lash, who will play one of the harps.

Stepping up to the podium is associate conductor, Lee Mills.




  • V.Lind says:

    Aren’t you missing a “toi”?

  • Nightowl says:

    The photo being displayed here is lacking a meme.

  • Kenny says:

    That is his job.

  • Anonymous says:

    Maestro Mills did a wonderful job. You’re also missing SSO harpist Valerie Muzzolini from your mention, as it’s a double harp concerto.

  • Amos says:

    I’ve never heard a performance led by the conductor but assuming he is the one in the photo I doubt I’d enjoy it given his apparent need to act as though there is a section on the ceiling requiring inspiration. Hopefully Mr. Mills knows the repertoire and can restrict his direction to the musicians on the stage without the theatrics.

  • Frank Flambeau says:

    Odd the article gives no background on Mills.

    He has a distinguished background including have received, at the invitation of Marin Alsop, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra-Peabody Institute Conducting Fellowship. He also is the winner of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award in 2014, 2017, 2019, and 2020. He is bilingual in English and Portuguese. For four years, he conducted the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted and worked with Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, Larry Rachleff, Marin Alsop and David Robertson, among others.

    It is nice to see an orchestra turn to its associate conductor in a time of need.

  • Edward says:

    I was at this concert last evening. Lee did a fantastic job of conducting these two works. This is really a demanding program. Lash’s double harp concerto is 35 minutes long and quite complex, and the Amy Beach Symphony is also something new to the musicians. The performance is pretty consistent, and the symphony is done very well. Bravo to Lee and the musicians!

  • R. says:

    I think this is how Bernstein became known.

    • BRUCEB says:

      I was going to ask “by substituting for a sick music director, or by conducting while apparently having an orgasm?”

      …but then I realized the answer to both questions was “yes.” :-p

  • Home viewer says:

    Would this have been Dausgaard’s first performance since prior to the pandemic? I did not see him in any of the wonderful streaming concerts the Seattle Symphony has been providing.

    • Musician says:

      The previous weeks subscription was his first week doing anything with the orchestra in 20 months.

    • MK says:

      He conducted a program of Beethoven Egmont, Saint-Saens Concerto No. 2 (with Alessio Bax) and Brahms 1 the previous week, which was his first concert with the orchestra since the pandemic. That concert was not streamed.