Watch this maestro conduct an entire symphony orchestra using a toothpick as a baton
4 June 2021, 16:51
When your skills are this mighty, you don’t need to rely on a big prop.
In January 2007, a maestro of stature stepped up to their orchestra to take on some ravishing Rimsky-Korsakov.
But instead of brandishing the traditional conductor’s baton, they were holding something rather surprising to direct the 100-strong musical ensemble.
The conductor, the legendary Valery Gergiev no less, confidently gripped a tiny toothpick to lead his symphonic charges (watch below).
Proving that he most certainly is not to be categorised as having ‘all the gear but no idea’, Gergiev commands the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra through Rimsky-Korsakov’s zesty Capriccio Espagnol at the world-famous Mariinsky Concert Hall in St Petersburg, Russia.
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The toothpick lends an effortless, elegant and understated finish to the whole thing. Gergiev draws out the very brightest sounds and most thrilling textures from the orchestra with diminutive equipment and seemingly minimal effort.
And it’s not the first time Gergiev has called on this particular conducting tool.
The Russian maestro took his favourite minuscule baton to the London Symphony Orchestra, Classic FM’s Orchestra in the City of London, for Ravel’s Bolero a few years back. Watch below.
We applaud Gergiev’s calm, confidence and skill – and musicians around the world’s eyesight.
Monday 7 – Friday 11 June 2021 is LSO Week on Classic FM. Listen across the UK on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio and TV, on Global Player, the official Classic FM app – on your smart speaker (“play Classic FM”), iOS or Android device and at ClassicFM.com.