Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Tommasini on the Baltimore controversy

In today's New York Times, Anthony Tommasini writes his opinion of the controversy over the Baltimore Symphony's possible appointment of Marin Alsop as its next music director. While it is hard for anyone outside the orchestra to make any conclusive statement, I agree with Mr. Tommasini that Ms. Alsop would be an excellent choice for musical reasons as well as the precedent it would set.

It is a difficult question that Mr. Tommasini raises, whether an orchestra needs to be happy with its music director in order to make great music. Clearly, there have been many cases where the quality was good even though the relationship was antagonistic - on the other hand, my most treasured experiences as an orchestra musician have been with conductors who I enjoyed as well as respected.

At a dinner party with Cleveland Orchestra bassist Scott Haigh recently, he and his wife expressed the view that there always needs to be a certain distance between conductor and musicians - if only the knowledge that no matter how friendly he or she may appear, one's career depends on that conductor's approval. This distance and vulnerability inevitably leads to some tension, and even with the conductors I've most admired, it has never been easy or comfortable to strike up a collegial conversation.

You can read the article online if you have registered at - click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

fuck scott haigh