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davethecomposer3 karma

There was some controversy on a particular Youtube channel some time back about conductors keeping the beat or being ahead of the orchestra (or the orchestra playing behind -- however you want to look at it). Do you conduct the beat ahead of the performers or are all of you in time together? Any comments in general about this?

davethecomposer3 karma

Reading up on John Cage, he apparently had some difficulties with some orchestras. He describes Bernstein as not getting what he and Feldman and others were doing and just allowing each member of the orchestra to improvise whatever they wanted was basically the same thing. And how members of the orchestra destroyed some of the equipment he had purchased for them to use (contact mics, etc). This was all in the late '50s, if I recall, but even in the '70s and '80s he had to stipulate in writing a minimum amount of practice time or he would withdraw the piece because apparently orchestras would assume that they could just wing it when it came to his music and not practice it ahead of time.

I assume things are better now -- especially with Cage -- but do you run into pieces that some members of orchestras rebel against even if in minor ways?

Do you conduct much music in that more avant-garde/experimental vein? How have audience reactions to this kind of music evolved over the years? Is it the essentially the same? Does location matter (thinking the LA Phil and SF Phil vs more conservative places) the most?

davethecomposer1 karma

What are your thoughts on performing more avant-garde 20th century music like stuff by Cage or Stockhausen? Do you like performing this kind music? Do you wish it was programmed more often or is it programmed too much?