In Tuesday’s (10/22) The Age (Melbourne, Australia), Barney Zwartz writes that on Monday night members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra “turned the Southern Cross Station forecourt into a concert hall and invited the public to conduct. A large crowd gathered and the orchestra was besieged by people willing to wield the baton in the opening of the final movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, the famous ‘apotheosis of the dance.’ The event was partly to mark 2014 season ticket sales opening on Monday, but mostly to enable the public to connect with the orchestra and make music accessible. The orchestra has introduced a new low price of $25 for tickets to Hamer Hall next year.” Zwartz reports there were approximately 60 amateur conductors at the event. “One mother conducted with a toddler on her hip. Almost everyone got down from the podium grinning as though they had won Tattslotto. ‘That was so thrilling,’ said Yu Lin after her 52 seconds.… Former nurse Jenny Gill added choreography, getting the orchestra to stand up and sit down in sections as they played,” commenting, “I even asked the conductor if I can start lessons.” In September, the ensemble ACJW—a joint venture of the Juilliard School and Carnegie Hall—performed a similar experiment, asking passersby to conduct them on a busy New York street corner. And this past Saturday in Los Angeles, Union Station was the setting for a new opera by Christopher Cerrone, Invisible Cities, reviewed Tuesday by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times.

Posted October 22, 2013