Youth trend in the conducting field?

Posted on: June 18, 2012

In Saturday’s (6/16) Financial Times, Andrew Clark writes, “When the exuberant Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra plays a programme of concerts as part of Britain’s Cultural Olympiad next week, the young musicians from Venezuela will seize the popular imagination in a way older, better-established ensembles from Europe rarely do. But it will be neither the principal violinist nor any of the rank-and-file players that catch the public eye. The focus of attention will be the man in front—Gustavo Dudamel. … The rise of Dudamel [31] and other fresh-faced conductors, such as the Latvian Andris Nelsons (33) and the UK’s Robin Ticciati (29) reflects the changing priorities of classical music as it seeks to adapt itself to the modern world. … Traditionally, the model conductor was one who produced interpretations of Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky of such authority and sweep that he (it was very rarely she) became an idol, the very personification of the music. He was usually old and venerable—and invisible off the podium. The conductor’s inaccessibility only heightened his mystique and power. … Younger conductors may lack the gravitas of their elders, but they bring with them the promise of revitalization—and an awareness of the need to play a wider role in the life of an orchestra.”

Posted June 18, 2012