Hi Reddit, very excited for this AMA!

I'm Michael Francis. I'm Music Director and conductor of The Florida Orchestra, the Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra in San Diego, and Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. I also love golf!

Between June 11-19, I'll be conducting for the Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra in San Diego, CA in a five-part open air orchestral Festival. You can view the 2021 All-Star Orchestra roster by clicking this sentence.

View programming and purchase tickets by clicking this sentence.

You can follow Mainly Mozart on:



My Proof: https://imgur.com/a/wlHGJQm

Edit: I have to run, but will do my best to answer more questions later today/tomorrow. Thank you for all the fantastic questions! If you’d like to attend Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival, click the following link to purchase tickets: https://www.mainlymozart.org/purchase/

Comments: 201 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

reniairtanitram95 karma

What is the purpose of music?

MainlyMozartSD327 karma

This is a question that has fascinated the deepest thinkers from the earliest times. Pythagoras, Aristotle and many others all wrote about the power and purpose of music. It is the organisation of sound at it’s most primary level. But it speaks to an inner part of us that is both with and beyond our intellects. Every culture in history has a powerful and identifiable relationship to their music. For me, today, music and particularly classical music (in its broadest definition) teach us empathy. We get to ‘feel’ what it was like to live under Stalin through Shostakovich’s symphonies, we sense Beethoven’s perserverance through deafness and the French revolutionary aftermath, it creates conversation with the previous generations across cultures and centuries. We learn about ourselves and learn to empathise about the lives of others around us. It connects us to so much in an immediate way that no other ‘thing’ can do. There is so much to this superb question.

Roland_T_Flakfeizer76 karma

If you were to take a vote from these players for them all to perform a piece that everyone wanted to play just for the sheer fun of it, audience be damned, what do you think the result would be?

MainlyMozartSD133 karma

There is a game that musicians often play - particularly after the post concert wine has flowed. It involves deciding who is the greatest composer. It nearly always ends up with Mozart/Beethoven. Fascinating. However, what would they like to actually play for the sheer fun, a lot of musicians would choose Mahler, because it is demanding, exhilarating and moments like the end of his Second Symphony are some of the most sublime, overwhelming, joyful passages of art ever written! Not easy piece to perform under covid conditions mind you, but I have one planned for October, so fingers crossed.

Roland_T_Flakfeizer31 karma

Interesting! And how about for yourself? If you could choose one piece that you could conduct the best players in the world purely for your own enjoyment, what would it be?

MainlyMozartSD70 karma

Well, I’m the luckiest conductor in the world already. Mainly Mozart is full of the best players - concertmasters, principal players from all the top orchestras in N. America. This year, I get to conduct Beethoven’s 3rd, 5th and 7th symphonies. I can’t wait to hear the 3rd in particular. Outside of this - Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony is outrageously spectacular, I’d love to have this in the hands of the best musicians. Also Verdi Requiem is a personal favourite.

Roland_T_Flakfeizer19 karma

Thank you for your responses!

Also I'm entirely with you on Verdi Requiem.

MainlyMozartSD35 karma

That Dies Irae is one of the greatest most spine-tingling moments in music. One of the few occasions I wish i was whacking the bass drum and not on the podium.

toadalchaoss68 karma

What are some career paths for musicians who just aren't good enough to play in major orchestras? Have you had to have the "this isn't going to happen" conversations with people similar to professional athletes getting cut?

MainlyMozartSD154 karma

This is a fascinating topic. The word amateur comes from the Latin amatar or french amore, which means to love. The amateur is perhaps the purest form of musical engager. Not for money, but for the love of the art form. I hope that people don’t give up the instruments they learned in childhood. There are so many wonderful amateur orchestras/bands. And often these people have the most fun. I have not taught at high school or at conservatory level, so I haven’t had those ‘this isn’t going to happen’. conversations. However, the audition process is blind (behind screens) in the US, so we only hear the musicians and don’t see them. This is a very equitable way of ensuring the natural process of selection. It also provides fair and immediate feedback for young musicians to know if they can cut it. In general, there are opportunities for so many in music. Teaching, coaching, many performing arts organisations require live musicians, so the creative, entrepreneurial and flexible artist will always find a way.

lynxminx32 karma

You didn't ask me, but you can eke out a pretty good living doing gigs and short term contracts. Wedding musicians make bank. Relationships with local musical theaters, ballet and opera companies, and churches can create consistent income. And private students.

MainlyMozartSD15 karma

All excellent suggestions.

kikiubo40 karma

I graduated from my bachelor in music before the pandemic started, the world of performing arts stopped for a year and we are still recovering from this. What can I do as a pianist to keep building my career and how can I approach orchestras in order to play with them?

MainlyMozartSD74 karma

Poor you. I feel sorry for all musicians at the nascent stage of their careers - Covid was a momentum stopper for everyone, but it is harder when you are starting out. That said, pianists had it slightly better than most (and that’s not saying much), in the sense that you can practise all this vast glorious repertoire at home. Not so easy for budding conductors ;-) So, I’m sure you made the most of the time to hone your craft to the highest level. I would be very active with recitals, small chamber concerts with your friends. Video-record them where possible and begin to harness the amazing power of social media. To encourage you, many performing arts organisations are looking to save money, so perhaps your fees may be lower than more established performers. If you play at the high level, there has never been a better time to quickly make a name for yourself. See this as an opportunity with a more level playing field. Good luck!

courtney222237 karma

What’s your favorite film score?

MainlyMozartSD85 karma

Good morning, i think the most impressive score for musical/psychological references recently might Lord of The Rings. Very effective connections between themes and action on screen. Also love John Williams - like everyone! Raiders, Star Wars.
I got to play on a lot of soundtracks for the films when I was in London Symphony Orchestra, so I should also mention Harry Potter.

sternje31 karma

What is the most challenging solo you've performed before an audience? And why was it challenging?

MainlyMozartSD70 karma

Fortunately, as a conductor, I am never out of tune! ;-D. But when I was a bass player, i do remember playing some concertos. I was far more nervous for these than for any conducting performance. Bottesini Grand Duo for violin and bass gave me the heebie jeebies for sure. The bass is unwieldy and all the notes are so far away. Next to the elegant sophisticated violin, i felt like a dancing bear next to a ballerina! I was so nervous - which helped my fast vibrato at least.

1SoftOpportunity923 karma

What conductors have influenced you? How would you describe your style?

MainlyMozartSD37 karma

I was in London Symphony Orchestra (double bass) under Sir Colin Davis. He was my first real mentor. Also Valery Gergiev (so passionate and instinctive). I have always admired Carlos Kleiber - elegance and drama in bucketloads - but never got to play for him. Sir John Eliot Gardiner is phenomenal in Beethoven, Mendelssohn. I would say I am always searching for the drama and narrative, so it depends on the piece. However, I err on the side of drama than safety. There are lot’s of technical things than hem conductors in during performance, so it doesn’t fall apart - probably a good thing, or we’d fall off the podium with over excited emotion!

CarelessShop23 karma

What would be your DJ name? Mickey F on the Beat?

MainlyMozartSD64 karma

DJ Mikestro - boom.

Slow_Application403122 karma

What is the hardest / least enjoyable part of your job?

MainlyMozartSD34 karma

I have a fantastic job, however, most recently - and needless to say - Covid has been challenging. Having to re-programme everything under completely different conditions whilst keeping everyone as safe as possible. (Of course, it has been much worse for many). However, programming, planning and as music Director I am in charge of hiring personnel. This in particular is the hardest part of my job. A conductor without musicians is just someone wafting their arms about, so learning how to bring the best out of the musicians is probably the hardest. Leadership and all the good/bad things that go along with this - something we can all relate to, I’m sure.

blckravn0120 karma

Which would you father fight: one Rachmaninoff-sized duck or 10 Ravel-sized horses?

MainlyMozartSD26 karma

I’m taking down the Rach! That would be a top-billed fight!

SoundintheCity19 karma

What has been your most memorable experience from doing Mainly Mozart to date?

I attended Mainly Mozart earlier this year. A nice Reddit user gave me a ticket and my girls & I attended. Great performances and good atmosphere.

Would recommend to anyone in San Diego with a love for music.

MainlyMozartSD23 karma

Thank you for coming to Mainly Mozart. We have had some wonderful concerts. This season I am expecting some of best yet - I look forward to seeing you there. The combination of the top musicians in the continent, along with this incredible music is always a recipe for success. What is perhaps less known is how fun they are off the stage. We have had some memorable trips - one in Tijuana ended up with a stranded coach and then a melee of concertmasters and principal players jammed in the back of a pick up truck that had come to rescue us. Hilarious, ridiculous and completely memorable. Musicians are such a blast to hang out with!

SoundintheCity4 karma

Sounds like a fun ride with an awesome soundtrack. Best wishes on this new concert season.

MainlyMozartSD5 karma

Thank you - hope to see you there!

OppositeBid18 karma

Most talented soloist you've come across?

MainlyMozartSD32 karma

Hmm... good question. Talent is one thing, but the combination of incredible talent with perseverance and perspiration is another. I have been fortunate to work with some of the very best, and they combine the inspiration and perspiration quotient perfectly. Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Miloš (guitar), most recently with Rudolf Buchbinder (piano), Augustin Hadelich (violin), James Ehnes (violin) and so many more. They each combine an authenticity to who they are, true humility to their art-form, tenacious curiosity and yes, that God-given talent that is so vital and magnetic for the rest of us to see/listen to.

vasska17 karma

what do you think are the biggest challenges with conducting and performing open air concerts?

MainlyMozartSD35 karma

Amplification. Number one. Wind and the elements a close second. There are so many magical/frustrating/humourous things that go wrong when an orchestra is out in the open. We recently performed Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Piazzolla’s Four Seasons with Mainly Mozart in October. It was outside at Del Mar Fairgrounds. This most extraordinary damp heavy fog (like something out of Dicken’s or Sherlock Holmes’s London). The condensation levels were insane. Watching the concertmasters of Philadephia, MET Opera, LA Phil, Atlanta Symphony and Nashville try to make their bows work (they get soapy and slippy when damp) was amazing. They were so calm. However, watching concertmasters try to turn pages in the wind is comical - they are terrible at it! In their home orchestras they have a desk partner to do it for them. ;-)

duncwood0716 karma

Do you intend to perform any music by living composers?

MainlyMozartSD26 karma

During the Mainly Mozart festival we will perform Arvo Part’s Fratres with Martin Chalifour (concertmaster of the LA Phil). A stunning, haunting piece of music. I recommend you putting it on YouTube - you will hear how many film composers were inspired by his ethereal landscapes. Particularly Max Richter. That said, we do concentrate upon music of Mozart and his contemporaries.

duncwood0710 karma

It’s encouraging to see a movement towards giving contemporary performers their due. It feels when I was growing up it was all dead guys.

But hey, nothing wrong with a little Wolfy

MainlyMozartSD11 karma

One can never tire of Mozart. There are festivals in California that specialise only in new music. Cabrillo Festival is probably the best known of these. You might enjoy seeing what they are up to as well. Thanks.

duncwood075 karma

Thanks yea, I’m a sound engineer in Los Angeles. Between REDCAT, new LA Phil/Opera programming, and groups like Wild Up, there’s a lot of fun stuff going on in contemporary music in CA. Haven’t made it up to Cabrillo yet though.

MainlyMozartSD6 karma

LA and the surrounding area is so vibrant for our wonderful art-form. Cheers

psionyx14 karma

Which conductor would you most like to battle in a live orchestra duel?

MainlyMozartSD21 karma

I imagine Leonard Bernstein would be a blast! If not on the podium - albeit with his magnetic charisma, humour and phenomenal musical instincts - certainly for the after concert party!

lipiti13 karma

What are you doing while conducting exactly? Is it mostly tempo, crowd control, what?

MainlyMozartSD36 karma

Crowd control ! ;-). Love that one. The role of the conductor is to help the musicians play the composers intentions to the highest level so that the audience can have the maximum impact. This requires a vision of the whole piece, organising/deciding tempo, balancing the instruments so that the melody and interesting details come through. Uniting the musicians into one narrative journey, cueing/organising, stylistic unity. Most of our work happens in the rehearsals, by the concert we are letting the musicians fly (hopefully!). Oh, and yes, quite a lot of crowd control...

goofball_jones27 karma

Most of our work happens in the rehearsals, by the concert we are letting the musicians fly

THAT, is probably the best explanation I've heard. After all these years, It's finally dawned on me that most of the real work and what the conductor does happens in the rehearsals.

MainlyMozartSD18 karma

My pleasure. I played in orchestra, and have had time to talk to other musicians about conducting - and experience it for myself - before I took the plunge. I think this really helped me a lot.

Flakybeef13 karma

Is really gathering a bunch of concertmasters and principal players a good idea? Top players have egos and distinct styles and ways of thinking, making it hard to mesh and blend. I'm a musician myself, and at my instrument's annual convention, it is a pretty terrible circle jerk with some nuggets of good information and performances thrown in.

They're all professional though, so they can probably adapt...

MainlyMozartSD17 karma

This is fascinating aspect of Mainly Mozart. You would have thought it sounds like a recipe for disaster (too many cooks and all that), however it does not work like this. In fact the opposite. What we hear is how lovely it is for these outstanding musicians to come after a long season (with all the inherent pros and cons of being in a large professional orchestra) to San Diego, sit in a section with players full of like-minded and equally talented musicians and just make music. It is devoid of the normal politics of their day jobs. It is like hitting the reset button of pure music making. They also feed off each other, inspire each other, learn from each other, and spend time together. So many deep friendships have been formed in the 32 years of MM. Music is such a great unifier. And we perform the most glorious, and inspiring music. My job as Music Director, is just to provide a framework of unity for them all to individually shine - it is astonishing what they can do, even from the very first rehearsal.

saxlife5 karma

Along those lines, how do you decide the top concertmaster of the concert masters? Is anybody labeled “concertmaster” of the orchestra you conduct at the time?

MainlyMozartSD3 karma

David Kim - Concertmaster of Philadelphia and Martin Chalifour - Concertmaster of LA Philharmonic will be our concertmasters.

Virtual-Owl-202012 karma

Who wins a fist fight between you and Dudamel? I feel like his hair would have to put him at a disadvantage.

MainlyMozartSD16 karma

It all depends on the sharpness of the baton!

runningrunninglost12 karma

Hi Michael, thank you for doing this. What can pianists learn from conductors (or conducting), and what can conductors learn from pianists?

MainlyMozartSD27 karma

As a non pianist, I am always in complete awe of what pianists do. I look at a score of a Rachmaninov concerto and just to perform the piano solo must be a feat towards the peak of human achievement. Conductors can learn so much about timing, harmony and keeping a melodic line with an instrument that decays as soon as you touch it. Also the brilliant way pianist balance the inner voices. The vast repertoire and stylistic variety of the music pianists play is astonishing. I learn so much each time i conduct a piano concerto. On the other way round - pianists can learn about how sound doesn’t come so immediately with an orchestra. Conductors have to conduct where the music is going, this allows us to be slightly more removed and to try to see the over-arching narrative. The colour differences that the wide instrumentation of an orchestra provides should always be inspiring to pianists. I just wish i could play Rachmaninov ;-(

Slow_Application403111 karma

Have you watched Mozart in the Jungle on Netflix? Would you say the stories are purely fictional or is there actually some resemblance in the music industry in real life?

MainlyMozartSD26 karma

Ok. Confession. I watched one episode. The pilot I think. It had an oboist rushing down to an audition on a horse-drawn carriage. She entered the hall and discovered the conductor was having his wicked way with a young staff member in the bathroom. I laughed and thought it humourous. As for it being far-fetched, ahem... certainly with my own personal experience, yes. However, some of the stories i have heard about on tour....it’s probably not far-fetched enough for true portrayal of the wildness of life in an orchestra. Shh... you didn’t hear this from me...

Throwaway214376598 karma

Why is No Fear King Lear trying to escape your bookshelf?

MainlyMozartSD15 karma

Hah! Didn’t spot this. Never trust an aging English King - always trying to cause trouble. King Lear in particular is rather unhinged anyway. Or perhaps the wise old chap didn’t want to be associated with me?

jellazar6 karma

As events are starting to return to in-person, What are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming festival?

MainlyMozartSD8 karma

Mainly Mozart gave the first live in person concert last July, and have led the way with in person concerts in California. It is an amazing, courageous and visionary organisation. Bravo to everyone involved. Many have been drive-in concerts, but now we offer seated concerts. I am looking forward to hearing applause and not just honking horns ;-). But musically, this orchestra playing Beethoven 3rd Symphony is going to be epic! And I can’t wait to conduct Mozart’s Piano Concerto in c minor. It is an absolute masterpiece and it will be my first time. George Li is our stellar soloist.

NicklesBe6 karma

I mean no offense by this because what you all do takes true mastery and skill. I respect and admire you all for your dedication, skill, artistry, and mastery of the craft. I'm just curious tho, because if you do I'd love to hear it, but do Orchestras like yours ever create and play your own music? Or is every Orchestra essentially the most dedicated cover band?

MainlyMozartSD19 karma

No offence at all. Orchestras are always trying to balance performing repertoire by the great composers (Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky), because this is often what people want to hear - and it is music of the highest quality. Alongside this, we also want to reflect our diverse communities and the times we live in, so we commission a huge amount of music from living composers. If you look at the seasons of LA Philharmonic or the orchestra i lead in Tampa, The Florida Orchestra, we have many world premieres each season. It is a balancing act of being a living art form and a gallery for the greatest art (but hopefully not just a mausoleum for dead composers). We are all wrestling with this issue. Thank you for asking.


What other orchestras are you fond of? I'm a fan of Manchester myself.

MainlyMozartSD12 karma

I love the Halle and BBC Philharmonic. Two outstanding orchestras. I love Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment amongst many others. Each has such a distinctive voice. When an orchestra with inspired musicians has a great pairing with a great conductor, incredible things happen. Karajan and Berlin Phil. Szell and Cleveland Orchestra. Reiner and Chicago.

Justinontheinternet5 karma

How fo you handle all that pressure?

MainlyMozartSD10 karma

An understanding wife.
It is complex how each of us deal with the pressure of performance. Interestingly for a conductor, we feel most pressure before the first rehearsal. By the concert, we have done most of our work and then the musicians should be in a musical environment to thrive at their best. For soloists it is usually the opposite, the concert is the moment of real pressure. Outside of music, i walk, cook, play golf (badly), swim, pray, read and spend time with family. I also utterly love what I do, and so it never feels like real work - this helps a huge amount.

Kneeyul4 karma

Good Afternoon! In addition to genres, I've always thought of music in three "boxes", one to hype me up, one to calm me down, and one to relive memories (the family members that got me into music have passed away).

Do you have mental "boxes" like that? Any insights or direction on how to expand my mindset? Thank you.

MainlyMozartSD10 karma

What a great way of listening. Yes, I have many pieces that stimulate various moods and memories. If you subscribe to streaming services such as PrimePhonic or Idagio, they actually have mood playlists. This would expand your list of three up to 10/12. However, perhaps what is more exciting/stimulating is developing your empathy boxes. As you listen to the great composers and read a little of their lives, and the context around which the pieces were written, you will develop greater empathy for those of different times/emotions/experiences. This will expand your listening into a proactive way of enlarging your appreciation for what others went - or go - through across the centuries. Art is at its best when it teaches us about ourselves and the lives of others. We can experience their moods in a vicarious way that is humbling, educating and cathartic.

Kneeyul3 karma

Brilliant answer, thank you again.

MainlyMozartSD3 karma

My pleasure, enjoy your listening - and live music is always the best way to hear masterpieces. Cheers!

lynxminx4 karma

How big is your stick? ;)

MainlyMozartSD6 karma

About the length of my forearm. And I’ve only stabbed myself with it once in concert (so embarrassing - i felt like a complete muppet!)

postdochell3 karma

Will there really be a qualitative difference with the "best" players from each of those playing together versus any of their home orchestras?

MainlyMozartSD3 karma

It’s different. Certainly not for me to say we are better than Philadelphia or LA or NY, but what i can say it is a different energy. These concertmasters and principals inspire each other on stage to a thrilling level. Some of our concertmasters are in the second violins, a part they don’t get to normally play - they love this. We have principal players on 2nd flute, 2nd oboe etc... This is stimulating and challenging for them. The proof is in the pudding, and i hope you can come and see a live concert. What happens on stage is truly extraordinary and unlike anything else. As for qualitative difference, I leave that up to you.

postdochell1 karma

Thanks for answering! It was an honest question as I've heard a few different Philharmonics and thought they all sounded great and honestly couldn't tell if one was "better" but I wonder if it requires a trained ear. In the movie Hannibal, Hannibal Lecter could apparently hear a single violin that was not as good as the others so I wonder if thats a realistic sort of thing.

MainlyMozartSD3 karma

At the level of music making we try to operate at, we actually can tell the difference of one violin. Indeed, it is sort of a job pre-requisite for a conductor. Not sure I’d punish them quite like old Hannibal though. Glass of Chianti anyone?

Whatreallyhappens3 karma

I was fortunate enough to see a Mainly Mozart concert when I was about 16 years old and absolutely loved it. I am now a professional musician as well and one of my dreams is to perform with a symphony. However, I am a professional musician on the “rock band” spectrum of music. So if I were to play with an orchestra it would be similar to Metallica’s S&M concert, which I loved very much. My question(s) for you are, is it in any way feasible to have a full tour with an orchestra and a rock band or do you see the costs being too great? And also have you done any work in that manner either on recordings, live performances, or writing any arrangements to accompany a band and what was your experience like?

MainlyMozartSD4 karma

I love that you remember the MM concert so well. Most orchestras in the US and Canada perform a Pops series each season. Many of these are Rock concerts. The Florida Orchestra has done many successful concerts with high quality Metallica cover bands. There are multiple arrangements of pop/rock/heavy-metal for bands and orchestras. Regarding full tours, they are expensive but feasible. Andre Rieu tours with a smaller orchestra for his very lucrative and popular concerts (different genre of course), but it is possible. The TransSiberian Orchestra have multiple tours with live classical orchestra each year. When I was in the London Symphony Orchestra we did a huge variety of recordings, films, albums - in my opinion a full symphony orchestra enhances the sound like nothing else! So many albums from the 70’s and 80’s have orchestral arrangements on them. Pink Floyd, Electric Light Orchestra. Good luck, and hope to see you back at a MM concert soon.

gunnathrowitaway3 karma

What is the most outlandish and/or diva-ish behavior you have witnessed from an orchestral musician?

MainlyMozartSD11 karma

There have been some legendary stories from my old orchestra. The bass player who was so drunk for a major concert that they hid his trousers so he couldn’t go on stage. He was storming around in his undies before falling asleep backstage in full view on his bass case. The famous British trumpeter who actually pulled a gun on a conductor during a rehearsal (it was a starter pistol, but the poor maestro didn’t know this!). There used to be more bad behaviour than today - orchestral musicians are thankfully more civilised today. ;-D

gunnathrowitaway5 karma

Whoa why did he pull the starter pistol? Was it a tempo problem? 😂

MainlyMozartSD5 karma

It was the 1970’s and apparently he was just irritated at the pompous remarks made by the self-indulgent conductor. Incredulous to think, but it was true!!!

Geedle2 karma

Can you do a back flip?

MainlyMozartSD3 karma

Nope. Not even when i was a teenager. And definitely not now after too many post-concert dinners!

ilovechairs1 karma

Are there any instruments/musicians that you’ve wanted to work with but have my had the opportunity yet?

The live sharing of music on the Reddit app made lockdown way more enjoyable, but I also got to hear music that I’ve never heard before from around the world.

MainlyMozartSD6 karma

So many musicians I would love to work with. Singers, opera, popular, classical. I have been fortunate to have worked with Sting, Seal and some from the pop world - this was great fun. They were superb musicians and top blokes (English after all ;-). In this genre, I’d love to work with Sir Paul McCartney and Adele (what musicians). On the concert stage, I wish I could work with Martha Agerich, the great pianist who just turned 80 - she is a real hero of mine.

ilovechairs1 karma

Sir Paul McCartney was an absolute privilege to see live. I went with my Mum and it was the best concert I’ve ever been to. The man can carry an entire arena with the nonchalance of making a cup of tea. I’ve never been around that many people who were just happy to be there and happy that you were there to experience it too.

MainlyMozartSD5 karma

His gift of melody was on the level of Tchaikovsky, Mozart and John Williams. How many of his songs/tunes could we sing immediately? - so gifted. And the Beatles worked so hard at their craft.

zombiekiller20141 karma

So all those people are gonna be in one place? Do you know of any safety precautions in place due to covid?

Since some musicians can’t wear masks due to their instruments.

MainlyMozartSD6 karma

We have had 6ft distancing for strings - who are masked. Separate music stands. 8ft distancing for winds and brass - who take their masks off to play and replace them during passages when they are not playing. What will be interesting is the California mask mandate is set to be lifted halfway through our festival, so we can remove them (we are all vaccinated) for the last few concerts - if the musicians wish to. The epidemiological protocols for orchestras have been extensively researched, stringently applied and carefully adhered to be musicians. We all want to be safe and provide a safe environment for live music for everyone. But outdoors does help.

ToddOMG-8 karma

Why do orchestras only play old stuff?

Band plays new stuff. Choir plays new stuff. Why does orchestra play old stuff?

I have all this music I wrote for orchestra just laying around. Shopping it got tiresome. I know it’s good, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I won’t bother writing any more for it in my lifetime.

MainlyMozartSD5 karma

Firstly, sorry to hear your music has not been performed enough, and I hope you do continue composing. I see many more contemporary pieces on orchestral seasons than before. We are all trying to do a better job of integrating the beloved classics with a reflection of the society and time that we live in. Our festival specialises in Mozart, but many other festivals - such as Cabrillo - specialise in modern music. Have you thought of writing film music, that is always brand new?