July 22, 2009

Passionate, not pretentious

Why a conductor? This was the question that a recent psychological study posed, the findings of which were published in the Psychology of Music journal this week. The study found that "the motives most strongly evoked were the ones linked with emotions and emotional needs."

And who was one of the 101 orchestral conductors surveyed, none other than PBO's Music Director Nicholas McGegan. Nic is frequently cited by critics and fans as one of the most exciting and passionate conductors in classical music. As Ron Hubbard of the Pioneer Press wrote this year (PDF), "There are few conductors who convey the ebullient enthusiasm of Nicholas McGegan.”

This is how Nic (pictured larger than life above) described his role as conductor: "Compared with, say, a virtuoso violinist, conductors are less concerned with the how of music and more concerned with the why — why the composer wrote it that way, and how best to share what you believe about that piece with the audience, through the orchestra."

Read more here.

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