While conducting evaluations for the 2006 Orchestra Website reviews, I came across an adult education event that had an immediate amount of appeal…
This particular talk is part of an afternoon series in Louisville where conductors and guest artists get together for lunch with a group of interested patrons. The lecture series is part of their adult education program and the lunchtime talk in question is scheduled for September 29th and will be led by the LO’s incoming conductor, Jorge Mester.
Entitled “Conductors – Who needs ’em?” the promotional copy promises that Jorge will treat his audience “to an inside look at what conductors do, how they do it, and why they do it. Come join our music director as he muses the Louisville Orchestra’s history and future music making.”
On the surface, I wouldn’t necessarily think that a conductor would be entirely frank and open about the inside world of conductors but the topic has a great deal of potential. I don’t know Jorge Mester so I can’t say if he plans to offer an honest look into that side of the business or not but I do know a few conductors that are entirely ready and willing to give such talks so I hope Jorge falls into that category.
Furthermore, wouldn’t it be fascinating if Louisville could pair Jorge with a musician from the ensemble and feature both points of view for the discussion. Even more fun, don’t let Jorge or management select which musician will participate but let the players decide among themselves and simply have the individual show up on the day of the event.
In the end, so long as the event allows patrons to interact with Jorge as opposed to having him talk “at” them, it should be an interesting event. Nevertheless, creating opportunities where patrons can learn more about the internal workings of their orchestra through un-choreographed dialogue and intimate face-to-face interaction is a good thing.
Hopefully, this event will demonstrate that sometimes, the best way to build an audience may not include playing any music.