“The Marvellous Mr. Muti”

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra onstage at Carnegie Hall (17 April 2011)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra onstage at Carnegie Hall (17 April 2011)

The Chicago Symphony has been in town for about a week. We grabbed tickets to see their Sunday afternoon concert at Carnegie Hall performing Les Preludes by Liszt and the incomparable Symphony No. 5 by that Russian enigma: Dmitri Shostakovich. The concert was simply marvellous, not only for the sublime wind and brass playing from the orchestra, but the sanguine, meticulous conducting of the Symphony’s new Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. How inspiring to see ‘old-school’ conducting; so rare on the concert platform these days, sublimely managed by the great Italian maestro. It’s all about the hands! The hands can, after all, express every nuance and detail of the score when in the hands (pun intended) of someone who doesn’t need to leap, make strangulated facial gestures or re-articulate the underlying pulse of the music through swivelling hips or any other part of the anatomy. So I guess you’ve caught on that I don’t have much time for bad conducting – seen so often in Australia – due to the lack of good training programs for our young (and not so young) conductors. Oh, well, just come to New York and see it, if you have a care.

Talking about good conducting training for those of you are interested. One of the best opportunities available in the US is to attend The Conductors Institute at the Bard College Conservatory of Music under the direction of Harold Farberman. Maestro Farberman is one of the finest conducting pedagogues anywhere in the world. For aspiring professional conducting students, you should avail yourself of the opportunity to learn form the great man himself. This year’s Institute runs from June 20 – July 22.

Hopefully the weather in NY will be better by June!

Thanks for dropping by,
Kevin

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