Is a conductor still necessary? (Part 2)

During the past 10-15 years, we have enjoyed string orchestras, wind ensembles performing in beautiful concerts, all without a conductor. These ensembles work as a team, they practice together, they talk about music together, they are even close friends away from their music. They are a family. That is an ultimate goal for an orchestra. If someone interferes with that, you probably have bad results. Thus, a conductor finds it really difficult to determine his place in such a team. A conductor oughts to unite an orchestra; alas they are already more than united. He needs to share his ideas; a team such as these ensembles has built their own perspective in music. Therefore, the conductor often struggles to find his place in such a strongly united ensemble. On the other hand though, a well educated, cultivated, inspiring conductor may make a huge difference. Gaining the respect of the musicians is the first step. The gifted conductor who treats musicians with respect, with a friendly but firm approach, asking and not demanding, always gets the most out of them. In this way, he can elevate all the musical ideas into a higher level. In my point of view, I believe that there is no straight answer to the question made. A qualified and talented conductor may do wonders with excellent musicians, and is definitely needed and mostly welcomed by them. In contrast to a conductor who either is not that exceptional or even worst, does not treat musicians with respect and makes the rehearsal and performance not pleasant only because of his attitude and personality. This clearly highlights the qualities that a conductor needs to tend to apart from studying technical issues and creating the necessary musical skills. A conductor needs to be a teacher, inspiring and guiding. Needs to be a parent, motivating and taking care of all problems that his orchestra might have musically or not. Needs to be a manager, being there for his musicians in terms of working rights, payment issues, organizing their concerts, taking responsibilities. If one lacks these qualities, then it is certainly better for the orchestra to have no one conducting them. If though these qualities add to excellent music skills, then any orchestra is lucky to have the best being in charge.

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© 2012 by Juan J. Rezzuto. All the tracks, scores and articles you can find in here are copyright.