Pittsburgh Symphony’s Manfred Honeck on tradition and cultivating a “personal voice”

Posted on: June 7, 2017

“Manfred Honeck will celebrate his tenth season as the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. His performing and conducting experiences have given him a unique view of tradition in classical music,” writes Michael San Gabino on Tuesday (6/6) at Chicago radio station WFMT. “While Honeck intends to preserve classical traditions, the maestro does not want to make the concert hall a museum. ‘I love a quote from Gustav Mahler when it comes to tradition,’ Honeck said in a recent interview. ‘Mahler said, “Tradition is the conservation of the fire and not the adoration of the ashes.” ’ Honeck continued, ‘I think it’s a wonderful quote…. Keep the fire, keep the tradition—and be as perfect and professional as possible—but be curious to find new things…. One thing I’ve realized is that there is a globalization of interpretation and sound. I personally would support the idea that you should have a personal view of the music…. When you look at a Monet painting, you can identify him immediately. And when you listen to the radio, you have to think, ‘Oh, this has to be this conductor.’ Keep your own way of doing things. You are exceptional, so to say.”

Posted June 7, 2017