Sir Colin Davis (1927-2013) al New York Times.

Conductors are paid to think, and that’s what the job should be about: sitting at home thinking, what is this piece? This is what absorbs the mind.

Ahi la quintaesencia del arte de la dirección, coral o instrumental. Será también nuestro acercamiento: enseñarle a pensar. Su credibilidad como director, su autoridad musical, emanará de esto.

En este curso usted será entrenado a pensar y a servir.

Este curso está diseñado para presentar al estudiante los conceptos básicos de la dirección de una agrupación musical. El plan de estudios se concentra en ayudarle a desarrollar las competencias de los gestos que empleará en las diferentes métricas. Las áreas de conocimiento y habilidad incluyen: alineación corporal, la posición de las manos, los gestos preparatorios y de expresividad a través del estudio de un repertorio representativo de diversas épocas y estilos. Se dará énfasis en el análisis y la interpretación de varias partituras, la terminología musical, el uso de la batuta y la comunicación no verbal.

Who cares if Classical Music dies?

Art is crucial because it holds a mirror up to us. It affirms John Donne’s declaration that “Do not ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for Thee.” I gave a talk like this at Dudley House at Harvard. One of the graduate students who attended raised his hand afterwards and asked a question that to me was breathtaking. He put his finger on the crux of the matter. He inquired, “Are you saying that classical music is the canary in the coal mine?” That is really good. … I told the high school superintendents; you can see go Fellini’s “Orchestra Rehearsal” if you want to see it in a metaphoric way. But playing in an ensemble, learning that your collective responsibility comes from sacrificing some of your own selfish desires but latching onto something which has not just the practical aspect – ‘You’re gonna make a lot of money if you do it, or you’re gonna be successful if you do it’ — but it produces intangible rewards that elate you, that exhilarate you, and that communicate something profound and overwhelming to an audience, this is a powerful metaphor. You play in an orchestra, and you play this kind of music that is not simple Pop music that ends in three minutes 25 seconds, but requires that people pay attention to a narrative and really understand what both order and disorder mean, what destiny means, all of these things, This is something that will turn adolescents into people who function in society in a more responsible and enlightened way.

Dr. Robert D. Levin - Harvard University

How Gustav Mahler changed the World

By Norman Lebrecht

It is out of the forests of Iglau (now Jihlava, Czech Republic) that Gustav Mahler derives the perceptual differences that will alter the shape and function of western music for all time to come. ‘This image of the waiting child, alone in the woods,’ confirms his widow, Alma, in 1924, ‘… is the child that Gustav Mahler always remained, lost in dream clouds, even as director of the Vienna Opera and master of New York[1].’

Of the many woodland effects that Mahler works into his music, the most daring and emphatic is the opening of his very first symphony when, aged 27, he begins not with a defining statement or a catchy tune but with a six-octave A on open strings, the simplest and most primal of tuning sounds. It is the sound that whispers through the pine tops of the Iglau woods when the wind changes direction and rain blows in from the west. I have heard it there myself. It is an autobiographical reminiscence.

But Mahler is not composing a forest scenario in the manner or Weber or Wagner, or a pastoral symphony like Beethoven and Brahms, or a recherche de temps perdu like Marcel Proust. He is taking a huge imaginative leap in attempting to change the public expectation of what a symphony is, and might be. He spends the first four minutes of the work venturing snippets of sound and atmospheric emanations before he delivers anything that might be recognized as a melodic theme, holding the audience attention by force of will. What’s more, throughout the score he introduces peripheral disruptions, sounds that are blown in from outside the text and texture of the music and threaten to drive it off course.

His device, unsettling to players and listeners alike, is drawn from the forest where any crack or crackle in the undergrowth, any distant rumble, can spell danger. That’s biographical reminiscence; the rest is radical innovation. Mahler, in his very first symphony, shows us that music is composed not of one central line but of a welter of sounds, some intended, others intrusive. Instead of imposing order on the natural world, as great composers have done before him, Mahler submits sounds as ambient organisms, unsettling us with intimations of risk and otherness.