Saturday, November 20, 2010

Conductor Walks Out Hours Before Concert

This article highlights some interesting aspects of the social and political challenges every orchestra conductor faces. We don't know the whole story--and probably never will. What we can say for certain is that she shouldn't have walked out. But it appears she may have been in some ways justified. And given the remark (by the former conductor of the ensemble) that some members were resisting her leadership because of her gender, we can probably assume there was significant unprofessional insult aimed at her beforehand.

It's important to remember that the success of an orchestra requires a very delicate balancing act on the part of the conductor--a firm, gentle hand and a supreme confidence--as well as the complete musical skills set. As with captaining a ship, poor leadership on the part of the conductor or strong resistance from the members of the orchestra can easily sink the whole enterprise. Sounds here like the players allowed themselves to head down a dangerous path of not trusting their leader--until, finally, as a direct result of that conflict, the ship ran aground.

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