Le Bell Canto by June LeBell

Words of wisdom from young conductor

Posted September 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

by June LeBell

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I just read the following quote from Philadelphia Magazine. It features an excerpt from an interview by Christine Speer with the new artistic director and conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nezet Seguin. I thought I’d share it with you because it says, better than anything I’ve read or heard, how a major music organization — orchestra, opera company, chamber festival or chorus — needs to think in the 21st century:

You once said that you want to honor the great legacy of the Philadelphia Orchestra and bring new concert experiences in 2012. What’s that look like?

The most important thing is not to not play again the Beethoven symphony, but to put it in a program where its neighbors help us understand and appreciate Beethoven in a different way. The design of this is like opening a window, seeing those pieces with fresh eyes. If it has to do with a more unusual concept of program — extra-musical or visual — then I’m willing to do it, the same way that my fantastic and illustrious predecessor of nearly 100 years, Leopold Stokowski, was willing.

Great wisdom from a young, smart conductor. And not so new, after all … (You saw him in the pit of the Met Opera when they did the HD performance of “Carmen,” by the way … )

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