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by John W. Knight

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The Golden Age Of Conductors

The Golden Age of Conductors presents an interpretive analysis of musical masterworks by 20 great maestros from Arturo Toscanini to Carlos Kleiber. Also included are interviews on the art of conducting with Pierre Boulez, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Kurt Masur, Herbert Blomstedt, and Richard Hickox as well as interviews with professional musicians who reminiscence about playing under the batons of these great Maestros. The author’s comprehensive analysis and interpretive suggestions of the great maestros will truly inspire musicians at all levels.


“All the knowledge of conducting comes from the score. If you have a precise idea of the score and an inner representation of the score, then the gestures will come almost automatically. Conducting gestures come from the music; the gestures do not make the music.”

Pierre Boulez

“The art of conducting is completely different from the craft. It is the ability to influence artists in an orchestra to do what you want them to do and to respect the music and the composer. It’s psychological. The relationship between an orchestra and a conductor is like a marriage in which both parties begin to know instinctively what the other wants.”

Christoph von Dohnanyi

“An interpretation is not something we get from God or from outside revelation. It comes from studying and struggling with the score.”

Herbert Blomstedt

“The conducting technique will come if the musical ideas are there. It is very important for a conductor to be clear and have clear musical ideas. The technique has to come from the music instead of imposing technique on the music.”

Richard Hickox

“If you measure a conductor through technique, a lot of conductors can keep an orchestra together, but that doesn’t mean it is conducting. Conducting means to inspire an orchestra with such a convincing idea about the piece that all these outstanding musicians believe you.”

Kurt Masur

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