We don't see many 'conductor' posts here, so here's one (well, two really).
In my youth (some years ago!) I was principal second of my local youth orchestra. We were playing Tchaikovsky 5, and the slow movement begins with several bars rest. About half way through them the conductor started gesticulating wildly. This was not unusual so I ignored him and carried on counting, following the cues etc. After the concert someone asked me why I ignored the conductor indicating our entry! Just as well I did as I came in at the right place and he didn't. But if I'd realised what he was trying to do, was I right to ignore him?
Recently I had the mixed fortune to hear an amateur orchestra and conductor accompanying a good violinist in Mozart 4. Every 'andante' entry in the finale entry was a mess, thanks mainly to the conductor. I'm sure ensemble would have been much better if the orchestra had been unconducted, encouraging them to listen to the soloist and enter with him. In these circumstances does one follow the soloist or the conductor? (At the other end of the musical spectrum I read that the VPO always follow the singers rather than the conductor when playing for the opera...).
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