Learning the art of conducting, at Alaska’s Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival

Posted on: July 17, 2015

“Four students or ‘fellows,’ as music director Robert Franz calls them, are spending this week learning and practicing skills they need to conduct an orchestra, in The Art of Conducting program offered this week through the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival,” writes Kris Capps in Wednesday’s News-Miner (Fairbanks, Alaska). The fellows, who are adult amateurs and professionals, “will conduct the Festival Chamber Orchestra at performances Saturday at the Denali Visitor Center in Denali National Park and Preserve for the Denali Music Festival…. Franz teaches the students how to train their bodies for the rigorous job of conducting…. ‘When you are conducting, your body has to be quiet in order for the hands to be effective,’ Franz said.… Franz is music director of the Boise Philharmonic, Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Opera and Orchestra and associate conductor of the Houston Symphony. Conductors are ambassadors for classical music in their communities, he said … and even become the public face of the organization. Most importantly, conductors must provide consistent and strong leadership for orchestra musicians. ‘You have to be aware of the fact that your job is 99 percent psychological,’ says Franz. ‘You inspire musicians to get moving in the same direction…. It’s give and take.’ ”

Posted July 17, 2015