Season openings bring new conductors

Posted on: September 10, 2010

Thursday (9/9) on her Washington Post blog Classical Beat, Anne Midgette writes, “New beginnings. The fall season is full of them. In the classical music world, none is better than the infusion of energy that comes with a new director—music director, general director, you name it. In Washington, the National Symphony Orchestra (taking a leaf from the Metropolitan Opera’s playbook) has emblazoned the city buses with the image of Christoph Eschenbach—on balance a refreshing thing to see, giving an iconic image to an institution that could use some more prominence in the city profile. The music world has gotten hooked on that new-conductor high. Last year it was Gilbert (New York Philharmonic) and Dudamel (Los Angeles Philharmonic). This year it’s Muti (Chicago Symphony) and Eschenbach (NSO). When your town gets a new conductor, there’s an instant mood of hope. … The rhetoric of welcoming a new music director seems to grow more and more elaborate at the same time as the tenures are getting shorter. Like baseball players, music directors are no longer expected to play for the same team for more than a few years. It happens sometimes, but not often; and in any case they’re generally on loan, since they usually hold several posts at the same time.”

Posted September 10, 2010