The “language” of conductors consists of gestures and motions. For those who haven’t mastered them, they’re frequently intriguing to watch—and for all those who have, they represent just one aspect of those numerous important skills that are essential to communicating with musicians, an orchestra, or a choir.
To numerous Viennese music lovers, Sian Edwards has been a familiar name for many years, now—thanks to her collaboration with Klangforum Wien and the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and by virtue of numerous Theater an der Wien appearances conducting works such as Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata.
“What we see of the conductor at the rostrum is really just the tip of the iceberg. A deeper look reveals a veritable pyramid of competences made up of skills ranging from music to management,” says Alois Glaßner, head of the mdw’s Department of Conducting. mdw Magazine spoke with Glaßner about the University’s comprehensive training of conductors, the conducting programme as such, and the profession’s ongoing transformation as well as the department’s own plans.