St. Louis Symphony’s Robertson on conducting

Posted on: November 4, 2009

“Few conductors can effortlessly invoke the Scriptures, Shakespeare, Goethe and Joseph Campbell in a preperformance lecture,” writes David Mermelstein in Wednesday’s (11/4) Wall Street Journal. “None can do it as unpretentiously as David Robertson.” The article profiles Robertson, entering his fifth season as music director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, which Mermelstein says Robertson has “raised to new heights… Wednesday night, Mr. Robertson and his orchestra return to New York’s Carnegie Hall, continuing an annual tradition, this time as part of the hall’s ‘Ancient Paths, Modern Voices’ festival, which juxtaposes music by Chinese composers with Western scores inspired by the Middle Kingdom. The program pairs recent works by the Chinese-born composers Tan Dun and Bright Sheng with Stravinsky’s ‘Song of the Nightingale’ and Bartók’s ‘Miraculous Mandarin’ Suite. … He likens his own duties to that of a ‘complex mirror’ and suggests that musical inspiration comes from three sources: the composer, the musicians and the audience. ‘My job,’ he said, ‘is to reflect and refract these different beams of inspiration to the various parties in the right proportions.’ … In April, Mr. Robertson takes the SLSO on a four-city California tour, with stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco.”

Photo by Tim Parker

Posted November 4, 2009