Home >> Previous Page >> Article


What makes a maestro tick?
  New articles | Editor's pick | Popular articles  

Sir Colin Davis: What makes a maestro tick?

Colin Davis changed his style from prickly firebrand to non-confrontational coaxer, and set a template for today’s younger conductors.

8:04PM BST 15 Apr 2013

Great musicians have a bad habit of dying at the same moment as some other, even bigger name who steals their departing thunder. Prokofiev went on the same day as Stalin, Solti in the same week as Diana, Princess of Wales. And now Sir Colin Davis goes, just as every newspaper this side of Pyongyang is captivated by the minutiae of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral arrangements. Lousy timing for a man who was, in most respects, a master of that art.

But Davis’s distinguished life – in the course of which he graduated from a prickly firebrand to a thoughtful, magus-like philosopher-musician – throws into relief two different models of what mastery means within the world of power, control and human chemistry that is conducting.

How does one man (as it almost always is: women conductors are still rare enough to be protected species) dominate a hundred players? As the only person on the platform issuing no sound – beyond odd grunts and moans you didn’t want to hear – how does he sell his vision of the piece to all these strong-willed, sceptical musicians with opinions of their own?


Tell A Friend
  Tags:   CAFE    CONCERT HALL    Conductors    People in the News    Sir Colin Davis    Maestro    Conductor    Technique    Stick


Classical Music | Classical Music Video | Orchestra | Classical Musician | Concert Hall | Violin | Cello | Piano | Symphony | Viola | Concerto | Philharmonic | Opera Singers | Music Lesson | Choir | Concert Band | Music Teacher Directory

My City    Return to CMC    Video    Audio    Classifieds    Auditions    Jobs    Events    Articles    Blogs    Meet    Links    Search