Daniel Harding’s conducting odyssey, from Europe to (sometimes) the U.S.

Posted on: February 19, 2019

“Thirty years ago, the conductor Simon Rattle received a letter …  about an extraordinarily talented teenage maestro … named Daniel Harding,” writes Zachary Woolfe in Wednesday’s (2/13) New York Times. “The decades since have been, in many ways, good to Mr. Harding, now 43, who will lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam at Carnegie Hall on Thursday and Friday. He is principal conductor of the respected Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra…. America has proved a tougher nut to crack…. When he was starting his career early in the 2000s, he did a circuit of major ensembles here … There were frustrations between him and the musicians … ‘I think I just wasn’t ready for how some of the big U.S. orchestras worked,’ [he says] … Wanting to work on technique and communication, he hired Mark Stringer, a onetime protégé of Leonard Bernstein, as a coach. And he … is scheduled to return to the New York Philharmonic next season.” Says Deborah Borda, the Philharmonic’s president and chief executive, “Young conductors, when they make these lightning rounds of the major orchestras … it’s almost unfair, to put that much pressure on them.… Sometimes what you need is a little break.”

Posted February 19, 2019

Photo of Daniel Harding by Whitten Sabbatini / New York Times