Printer-friendly version weekend vote: Who is your favorite orchestra conductor?

The Weekend Vote

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Published: July 12, 2014 at 6:15 PM [UTC]

It would be impossible for me to list all the fantastic and worthy conductors who are on the scene today, but I've chosen five top conductors from top orchestras around the world for you to enjoy. I've assembled videos of each one, in alphabetical order, conducting a classical piece with the main orchestras that they direct (they all guest-conduct many orchestras!) Which, of these, do you like best? Which, that didn't make the list, do you like best? Please vote, and then feel free to elaborate in the comments section.

Gustavo Dudamel - Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Gershwin: An American In Paris

Valery Gergiev - London Symphony Orchestra
Mahler: Symphony No 6, I.

Alan Gilbert -- New York Philharmonic
A Concert for New York: Mahler: Symphony No. 2, Resurrection - I. Allegro maestoso

Mariss Jansons - Royal Concertgebouw orchestra
Mahler: Symphony No. 3, IV.

Simon Rattle - Berlin Philharmonic
Brahms: Symphony 4, IV

From Emily Hogstad
Posted on July 12, 2014 at 6:41 PM
Osmo Vanska. Anyone who has seen him perform Sibelius or Beethoven knows why I say so. His chemistry with the Minnesota Orchestra is electric - the stuff of legend - one of the great musical partnerships of our generation. He brings out dynamics like nobody else. He is a servant of the music, he is plainspoken, he is a perfectionist, he doesn't put up with bull, he stands up for what he believes in, and he supports young musicians. He puts just as much into a performance whether he's at Carnegie Hall or in a middle school auditorium in Winona, Minnesota. His work has brought so much joy and intensity into my and many other lives. I can't begin to describe how thrilled I am that he is staying in Minneapolis and finishing his epic Sibelius cycle with his beloved band.

Plus... Is there really any other conductor who could inspire thousands of people to dress up in the colors of his country's flag in support of his reinstatement as music director? Any other conductor who inspires thousands of people to Euro-clap and scream "OSMO COME HOME"? Any other conductor whose fans literally wear blue and white face paint in support of him? I rest my case. ;)

Posted on July 12, 2014 at 7:36 PM
Having read INSIDE CONDUCTING by Christopher Seaman, pub by U of Rochester Press, he might have jumped the list of favorites...the book is worth purchase and reading for the factual comment, the hilarious composer/conductor/performer quotes and Seaman's incite and writing style.

Living in the area of the Rochester Phil and observing some guest shots in Florida, from a musician's view, Seaman was always seemed easy to follow, attentive to the music and the players and precise in delivery.

Some of you may be interested in the performances of recently departed Mario Bernardi a Canadian conductor that always put a personal spin on his podium efforts. He always added some twist to the warhorses and made them sound fresh and new.

Posted on July 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM
Gustavo!!! Of course. It's so amazing to see him in action. Having seen him conduct in person and also having had the privilege to be part of an orchestra that he has conducted is incredible. He brings a very particular type od energy unlike any other. And he's also a wonderful person. Dudamel all the way.
From Anne Horvath
Posted on July 12, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Yesteryear, Toscanini.

Posted on July 12, 2014 at 9:59 PM
Anyone heard and watched David Zinman in Russia with the Baltimore Symphony ? I was there leading the second violin section. He was not allowed to leave the stage after the performance.
Mr. Zinman took the same Orchesta to East Berlin.The first American orchestra to play there after World War Two.He got the same result.Then came Russia.
George Orner
Posted on July 12, 2014 at 10:10 PM
All great conductors! To that list, I would add Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra who is simply an amazing musician and person!
From Richard Watson
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 1:47 AM
Of those under whom I played: Monteux, Munch, Stokowski, Ansermet, Boehm, Jochum, Pretre, & Ferrara.

From Marty Dalton
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 2:55 AM
I have to agree with Emily on this one!
From Brent Hudson
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 3:25 AM
Symphony goers here in Northern California, and NPR listeners everywhere, appreciate Michael Tilson Thomas; also, strictly as a listener, I find Esa-Pekka Salonen very good.
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 4:19 AM
1. Leopold Stokowsi. Really unequaled in the history of the sport.

2. Eugene Ormandy. Extraordinary period for the Philadelphia orchestra. Tough to follow after L.S. but that just shows how superb E.O. was.

Really nobody in the "top" ranks today gets me like that.

From Sacha Standen
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 8:19 AM
This may seem a bit base and I certainly don't intend to give offence, but the first time I saw Gustavo Dudamel he somehow reminded me of Michael Jackson in Thriller...
From Simon Streuff
Posted on July 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Concertgebough just sings!!! Love them and must hear them life!
Posted on July 15, 2014 at 6:50 PM
I don't feel I can do this question justice, since it doesn't include directors who have passed away.

So here are someof my favorites from the past:

- Stokowski

- Szell

- Fiedler (in his own niche)

- Bernstein

From Sung-Duk Song
Posted on July 18, 2014 at 1:08 AM
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Yannick Nezet Seguin
Riccardo Muti
Charles Dutoit

Carlo-Maria Giulini
Claudio Abbado

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