“Ever since he was a little boy, Yannick Nézet-Séguin knew he wanted to be a conductor. He likens the feeling to something ‘almost like a religious call,’ ” reports Terry Gross on Thursday (4/4) at National Public Radio. “Now 44, Nézet-Séguin is the music director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, two of America’s most storied musical institutions. For Nézet-Séguin, the hardest part of conducting is containing his emotions on the podium. ‘You have to live completely emotionally what [the music conveys],’ he says, ‘but also have some part of your brain that’s outside to control; otherwise it’s potentially a train wreck.’ ” In his audio interview with Gross, Nézet-Séguin talks about a generational shift in conducting, how conducting is different than he imagined it would be when he was young, on sight-reading a score to understand all of the parts of the orchestra at the same time, conducting with his whole body, and being an openly gay man in the classical music world.

Posted April 8, 2019