China National Symphony taps French conductor Plasson

Posted on: October 9, 2009

Thursday (10/8) on her Washington Post blog Classical Beat , Anne Midgette writes that “for the first time an orchestra in mainland China is taking on a foreign music director: the French conductor Michel Plasson is becoming music director of the China National Symphony Orchestra. … There are two sticking points to an actual music directorship: dealing with the Chinese bureaucracy as a foreigner without skills in the language, and salary. In Plasson’s case the latter, at least, has been taken care of, according to Musical America, by a private sponsor. The former, the bureaucracy, may or may not be more difficult. … The CNSO, of course, is funded by the Chinese government and its leadership issues are therefore on some level always political (the same is true in most European countries where government subsidy is the norm). Plasson, however, will probably be in some sense an illustrious figurehead: his contract only runs for a year, which is not really a music directorship in the sense most American orchestras are used to the term. Still, he will conduct ten concerts, which should be enough for a considerable relationship to develop.”

Posted October 9, 2009