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Thread: Philly's New Music Director

  1. #1
    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Default Philly's New Music Director

    The Philadelphia Orchestra has named a new Music Director, to begin starting 2012.

    He is 35 year-old Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who will be contracted for a minimum 5-year stint, starting in 2012.

    The Philadelphia Orchestra, still possibly the most-recorded orchestra in the Western Hemisphere, has lately been judged to have seen better days. Typical of current regard is that they were notably left off the most recent '20-Greatest-Orchestras' list from Gramophone magazine, an outcome that would have been unthinkable in the eras of Stokowski & Ormandy.

    In Philadelphia specifically, and the Delaware Valley generally, Nézet-Séguin will inherit a base of Orchestral Music enthusiasts who are looking for reasons to become excited again. In Nézet-Séguin, there may be a basis for symbiosis, if he can aid in restoring the perception that the Philadelphians will again be regarded as one of the world's great ensembles.

    Early word from the board is that they're looking for this to be a long-term relationship. Early word from the 'critics-corner' is that the arrrangement figures to be promising, provided that Philadelphia becomes the plurality-focus for Nézet-Séguin's trans-continental career.

    Best of luck to both Maestro et Virtuosi, as they move forward...
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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    I loved Eschenbach. Yeah dude made mistakes and didn't get along with his peeps ... but when the mensch und orchester were in sync, what they synthesized inside Verizon Hall was pure magic. I was lucky to have seen him conduct Tchaikovsky 6th, Mahler 1,3,4,9, and a host of other expansive symphonic works - they were all fantastic. I miss him, man.

    Charles Dutoit - he's.. kewl, too.

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    "The Philadelphia Orchestra, still possibly the most-recorded orchestra in the Western Hemisphere"...
    Thought that honour belonged to The Academy-of-St-Marriner-in-the-Fields...?

    Hope Eschenbach is good. He's coming to Sydney with the Vienna Phil in October, and I'm anticiapting a transcendent Bruckner 4.
    cheers,
    GG

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    I feel like this is yet another example of the Dudamel/Los Angeles type of appointment, although there's less raw ego involved. From what I've heard, Nézet-Séguin is one of those rare artists who really cares about the music he conducts and empathizes with it on a deep level, but he's developing still. I find it rather interesting that the really great American orchestras are all hiring young conductors (New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland...I wonder who they'll get for Boston) when just a couple of generations ago a 50-year-old was unheard-of unless it was Bernstein or Ozawa.

    But yes, I think Nézet-Séguin will be worth it in the long run, and hopefully it'll be a beneficial symbiotic relationship.

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    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Nagano (59) Welser-Most (50), Gilbert, Dudamel, YNS, etc., the appointments for younger and younger conductors had to happen. There's a chance for Harding at Boston, who would continue the under-50 progression.

    It had to happen. Fossils with batons aren't going to draw the young walk-ups and subscribers. Chicago bucked the trend, and suffered early for it. We'll just hafta wait 'n see how it all shakes out.

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    Senior Member Meaghan's Avatar
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    Well, I hope things are going better for Philly soon. Especially as I will be spending next spring there and want to go to wonderful concerts! I like what little I've heard about Nézet-Séguin and am cautiously optimistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    Nagano (59) Welser-Most (50), Gilbert, Dudamel, YNS, etc., the appointments for younger and younger conductors had to happen. There's a chance for Harding at Boston, who would continue the under-50 progression.

    It had to happen. Fossils with batons aren't going to draw the young walk-ups and subscribers. Chicago bucked the trend, and suffered early for it. We'll just hafta wait 'n see how it all shakes out.
    From chatters emanating from my peer groups (I assume we count as the "young walk-ups"), we most certainly appreciate the fossils over the young mavericks. Really - I'd take Haitink, Muti, or even Dutoit any day over N-S. For the young ones, they always seem like they want to prove something...

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    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daspianist View Post
    From chatters emanating from my peer groups (I assume we count as the "young walk-ups"), we most certainly appreciate the fossils over the young mavericks. Really - I'd take Haitink, Muti, or even Dutoit any day over N-S. For the young ones, they always seem like they want to prove something...
    But isn't that good, wanting to prove something? That says mettle to me. I think back to Bernstein's big day in 1943, as NYPO's Assistant Conductor.

    I still appreciate some of the fossils (Abbado, Haitink, Boulez, etc., etc., etc.), too, but it doesn't really matter what you and I would take or prefer on recordings, or the occasional concert.

    Like it or not, it's what orchestras are faced with day-to-day in communities, towns, cities, and it usually isn't a conductor who makes ten to thirty times the wages of players, and often with little charisma and no community involvement.
    Last edited by Vaneyes; Jun-01-2011 at 21:18.

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    Appointing talented young,up and coming conductors is nothing new.
    Stokowski became music director of the Philadelphia in 1912, when he was only 30.Of course, the orchestra was not yet a world-class and renowned group, but he certainly put them on the musical map.
    Furtwangler was only about Nezet-Seguin's age when he succeeded the legendary Artur Nickisch at the Berlin Philharmonic. Nickisch (1855-1922 ) is hardly remembered today except for those knowledgable about the history of conducting,but he was probably the first superstar conductor,and held posts with not only Berlin, but with the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra, the Boston symphony and London symphony.
    He made the first complete recording of a Beethoven symphony almost 100 years ago, the fifth with the Berliners, and that was acoustic,before electric recordings.
    I believe it's still available.
    I recently heard Nezet-Seguin's Bruckner 8th with the other Montreal orchestra on the Astra label, and was really impressed. This is a towering masterpiece which
    might be foolhardy for a young condutot to tackle, but he does an impressive job, and
    the orchestra plays beautifly. He seems to be a genuine and major talent.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superhorn View Post
    Appointing talented young,up and coming conductors is nothing new.
    Stokowski became music director of the Philadelphia in 1912, when he was only 30.Of course, the orchestra was not yet a world-class and renowned group, but he certainly put them on the musical map.
    Furtwangler was only about Nezet-Seguin's age when he succeeded the legendary Artur Nickisch at the Berlin Philharmonic. Nickisch (1855-1922 ) is hardly remembered today except for those knowledgable about the history of conducting,but he was probably the first superstar conductor,and held posts with not only Berlin, but with the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra, the Boston symphony and London symphony.
    He made the first complete recording of a Beethoven symphony almost 100 years ago, the fifth with the Berliners, and that was acoustic,before electric recordings.
    I believe it's still available.
    I recently heard Nezet-Seguin's Bruckner 8th with the other Montreal orchestra on the Astra label, and was really impressed. This is a towering masterpiece which
    might be foolhardy for a young condutot to tackle, but he does an impressive job, and
    the orchestra plays beautifly. He seems to be a genuine and major talent.
    Thanks for that interesting post; I wasn't aware of Stokowski's age at the start of his Philly appointment (to someone my age it feels like he's been ancient for centuries). I seem to remember Ormandy being quite young when he was hired for the Minneapolis Symphony also, now I begin to think about it.

    So really the whole idea of old conductors being "the ones" is somewhat fallacious...that's interesting. I suppose the idea comes from the fact that they were the guys appointed to already well-established orchestras because they were already traditional etc...I dunno, I'm just blabbering, don't take me seriously.

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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    FYI, Nezet-Seguin has been Music Director of Montreal's "other orchestra" (Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montreal) for 10 years now, and is also AD in Rotterdam (succeeding Gergiev) and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Phil. He's a graduate of Montreal's Conservatory (summa cum laude in piano), and had an associate stint with Giulini. For awhile, he was the Montreal Opera's choal director (I think)Excellent cred.

    Montreal's La Presse critic (who has been around for well over 50 years) is quite the cummudgeon, but has nothing but praise for YNS. Speaking of cummudgeons, Dutoit had probably a HUGE say in who was going to replace him in Philly, so the Montreal connection...

    YNS has quite a few records with the OMGM and with the Rotterdam Phil, most of them are either late romantics (Bruckner) or French repertoire.

    I think Philly made a smart move, and I wouldn't at all be surprised if he's in the mix (in some capacity) at the Met when Levine finally steps away (due to health, same as in Boston).

    My 2 cents.

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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Article in today's Globe and Mail. More Yannick sooner in Philly:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2140414/

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