Sir Colin Davis checks ego at the stage door

Posted on: May 13, 2011

In Friday’s (5/12) Guardian (London), Tom Service writes, “Colin Davis doesn’t want to be a guru. But that’s what the 83-year-old conductor has become to the musicians who play for him, the audiences who hear his concerts and anyone who meets him. … Davis tells me he has spent a lifetime fighting a battle. Not against orchestras, managers, or musicians, but against his ego. ‘One’s ego becomes less and less interesting as you get older, to oneself and to everyone else. I have been around it too long. The less ego you have, the more influence you have as a conductor. And the result is that you can concentrate on the only things that really matter: the music and the people who are playing it. You are of no account whatever. But if you can help people to feel free to play as well as they can, that’s as good as it gets.’ ” Davis talks to Service about music he’s currently preparing, including “Weber’s opera Die Freischütz to the strange symphonies of Danish composer Carl Nielsen, and Beethoven’s setting of the mass, the Missa Solemnis, which he conducts at the Proms on 4 September and takes on tour to New York with the LSO in the autumn.”

Posted May 13, 2011