1. Plans the entire concert program with considerations on:
· number of musicians
· ability of musicians
· level of the audience
· theme of the concert
· possible dates
2. Needs to know the music thoroughly before all the other performers do. In order to do this, one has to:
· compare various editions and select the best and most accessible one;
· study the work and its composer, and understand the background, history, and performance practice;
· learn every vocal and instrumental lines;
· practice how to communicate with proper gestures and body language.
3. Makes artistic decisions such as appropriate tempi, dynamics, bowings…etc., and mark them into the
conductor's score as well as each orchestra part score;
4. Writes letters to prospective donors asking for support;
5. Co-ordinates rehearsal schedules that fit all the performers;
6. Comes up with effective rehearsal planning, so that no one’s time is being wasted;
7. Writes program notes, and provides translations if it is a choral work in foreign language;
8. Needs to know how to understand and deal with the physiological side of the musicians so that everyone can
get along and be productive. Sometimes the conductor has to resolve conflicts among musicians during a
rehearsal and make sure everyone is happy;
9. Listens and evaluates constantly;
10. Responses to multitude of emails and calls;
11. Listens and selects advises that help;
12. Coach singers and instrumentalists;
13. Writes thank-you notes.
Sometimes, a conductor also:
1. Promotes their concerts: design poster; persuades people to attend the concert…etc.
2. Secures a concert venue by contacting the person in charge and works out all the logistics;
3. Hires and works with the audio/video recording artist;
4. Plans the stage setting, and make sure that there are enough chairs, music stands, risers, and any other
equipments that are required for the concert;
5. Plans the reception;
6. Cleans up before and after rehearsals and concerts;
7. Prepares the entire concert program: gather information, typing, proof-reading, editing, and printing;
8. Arranges transportation for musicians;
9. Transcribes and transposes music for appropriate instruments;
10. Gives counseling to their fellow musicians;
11. Deals with attendance issues;
12. Attends meetings;
13. Meet with patrons and donors;
14. Does what that are not listed under their job description.
15. Deals with conflicts and attitudes in the rehearsals.
In order to accomplish all the above, conductors should:
1. Have a vision.
2. Be humble and ambitious at the same time.
3. Be passionate about what they do, and inspire those who they work with to be the same.
4. Be very organized, always plan ahead, and pay attention to details.
5. Be loving, and to demonstrate that love frequently.
6. Always be on time: to be on time is to be early.
7. Always emphasize team work, even though they may have contributed the most.
8. Stick to their plan no matter how hard it may be. Always remember their first love with the music and calling,
never give up.
9. Develop mutual trust among their team.
10. Never burn their bridges.
11. Be articulate while listen more and talk less.
12. Be generous in every way, and always go above and beyond.
- David Chin, April 16, 2013, 1:00am