MUS 391 A02: Great Conductors 

“Great Conductors” is designed to make conducting—an intricate act of artistic
communication—accessible to a wide audience. It will also introduce Music and non-Music students to a micro-cosmos that fuses music, art history, psychology, leadership studies and even labour relations.

This course is opened to anyone who loves music and is interested in the evolution of the relationship between conductor, the act of conducting and the orchestra over the last 150 years. Through portraits of iconic conductors, concert videos and background texts, we will examine social, cultural, leadership, aesthetic and musical issues related to orchestra performances.

Elementary knowledge of music concepts is required, but no Music pre-requisites
are necessary.

Featured conductors will include: Herbert von Karajan, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Arthur Nikisch, Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Carlos Kleiber, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel & El Sistema, Daniel Barenboim and Leonard Bernstein.

This course will use video resources from the Digital Concert Hall Concert Archive - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Archive

Readings will include:

  • Boulez, Pierre and Jean Vermeil. 1996. Conversations with Boulez: Thoughts on Conducting. Portland, Or: Amadeus Press.
  • Dutton, Denis. 2009. The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, & Human Evolution. 1st U.S. ed. New York: Bloomsbury Press.
  • Lebrecht, Norman. 1991. The Maestro Myth: Great Conductors in Pursuit of Power. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Pub. Group.
  • Meier, Gustav. 2009. The Score, the Orchestra, and the Conductor. Oxford, Oxon, UK; New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Peyser, Joan. 1986. The Orchestra: Origins and Transformations. New York: Scribner.
  • Seaman, Christopher. 2013. Inside Conducting. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.
  • Weingartner, Felix, 1863-1942. 1969. Weingartner on Music & Conducting: Three Essays. New York: Dover Publications.