Dominant and Tonic: Rethinking the Role of the Music Director
The recent death of Lorin Maazel caused me to remember an article
I wrote for Harmony in 2001 about the role of the Music Director, in part because his selection as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic was discussed in the article.
Maazel was, with Bernstein, one of the very first Americans to be hired by a major American orchestra as music director, and is the only American to have held the music directorship of two of the “Big Five” orchestras. He was also the first (and, to date, only) American to have held the top position (which, oddly enough, is not the position of Music Director) at the Vienna State Opera. His thoughts on the problems of the music directorship would have been interesting. I wonder what he would have thought of my analysis. Given that he was a violinist, perhaps not very much.