When the hair’s the thing

Posted on: April 17, 2015

“In the current generation of so-called rock-star symphony orchestra conductors, Stéphane Denève definitely has the hair,” writes David Patrick Stearns in Thursday’s (4/16) Philadelphia Inquirer. “Though not as wild as Gustavo Dudamel’s or as glossy as Riccardo Muti’s, it corkscrews with such a mind of its own you’re sure he didn’t plan the look…. ‘This is the exact story,’ says the ebullient French-born principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra…. ‘I wanted to cut my hair, but my agent said, “No, no, no. It’s now a recognizable package, and I’m selling the whole package.” … There’s a study to be done,’ he says, ‘on conductors and hair.’ ” Denève also speaks about his role in Philadelphia: “When you’re a guest conductor, you risk your life at every concert because you want to be asked back…. But [as principal guest conductor] you can … take risks with repertoire.” Among the works Denève conducts this month in Philadelphia is Magnus Lindberg’s Graffiti, which he “believes is a 21st-century Carmina Burana and which he has made part of his new mission.”

Posted April 17, 2015