Donato Cabrera, Sarah Hicks, and Michael Morgan on conducting life during the pandemic

Posted on: December 18, 2020

“The challenges musicians face to keep their skills sharp and make a living during the pandemic have been well-documented. But conductors have an extra set of obstacles,” writes Yoshi Kato in Thursday’s (12/17) San Francisco Chronicle. “Three Bay Area conductors—Sarah Hicks, a freelance conductor who lives in Pacific Heights [Hicks is also principal conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Live at Orchestra Hall series]; Donato Cabrera, music director of both the California Symphony and the Las Vegas Philharmonic; and Oakland Symphony Music Director Michael Morgan [spoke] about life during the COVID era…. The public may think of the conductor onstage, but the job is ‘also a very private affair,’ says Cabrera…. ‘I’m mostly studying, thinking about the music…. I have that tactile need to bring the music to life.’ Morgan says he has managed to delve into music that he definitely won’t be performing and ‘looking into composers, particularly from both the 18th and 19th century, who were not so famous but you discover as having been too interesting to allow to just be forgotten.’ Both Cabrera and Hicks have been publishing online more during the pandemic…. Like their audience, all three conductors are ready to congregate indoors for live concerts again.”