Why Directors and Conductors Are Never Loved By All

I’ve come to the conclusion that there's really no way to be one hundred percent popular as conductor. 

Being a director or a conductor is a balance of many things.  And to do it right is a very difficult tight rope to walk.  I’ve come to the conclusion that there's really no way to be one hundred percent popular as conductor. 


I'm in kind of a unique position as a soloist because I come from the outside.  I’m kind of on their side. The orchestra confides in me about their music director or their conductor and I’ve never seen a conductor that’s been liked by everyone.  It’s something you have to accept.  Because you’re in this power position and you’re telling people what to do.

You tell them how to make music. They’ve grown up making music themselves and they’re being told how to do that.  And it’s a little bit like a director with an actor.  Someone who directs a film, they have to see the overall picture and they have to get the best performances out of the actors.  And to do that and allow them to be artists themselves and yet inflict your view on them, it's a very difficult kind of line to walk. 

So you need to aim to be nice and approachable on a certain level and yet earn their respect.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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