Former prodigy Harding to make New York Philharmonic debut

Posted on: March 1, 2011

In Sunday’s (2/27) New York Times, Michael White profiles Daniel Harding, the British conductor who at age 16 was discovered by Simon Rattle and went on to become the latter’s protégé. “On Thursday, at the relatively desiccated age of 35, Mr. Harding makes his debut with the New York Philharmonic. You can only wonder what took him so long, until you see his schedule. Milan, London, Athens, Stockholm, New York, Tokyo: and all of those within just five weeks, in February and March. … In New York he’ll be conducting the Fourth Symphony of Mahler, a composer about whom, as he says, ‘the Philharmonic will have very clear ideas. So there’s no point, practically or musically, in someone like me coming in for a couple of concerts and trying to change that,’ he said. But he too has ideas about Mahler. It’s his signature repertory. How does he accommodate conflicting views? ‘It isn’t difficult,’ he said. ‘Finding common ground in Mozart is harder, because there everyone has their own way and is absolutely sure they’re right. But the closer music gets to our own time, opposing positions become less extreme. I’ve done Mahler with orchestras like the Vienna Philharmonic and Concertgebouw, that have very distinct Mahler traditions, but they’re all linked somewhere to a common source.’ ”

Posted March 1, 2011