The 10 worst things about being a conductor

22 May 2015, 14:04 | Updated: 11 August 2017, 15:08

Even though they get to stand at the front and look important, it's a tough life being a conductor. Here are the downsides to the top job.

1. Unflattering photographs

So whenever you think you're doing a really emotive face in that delicate section of Brahms 2, it's actually more like this:

worst things to happen to a classical musician

(Photo: Chris Christodolou)


2. People who say 'don't you just stand at the front and wave your arms?'

No. No we do not.

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3. Surly brass sections

Look how Leonard Bernstein handles these back-row wise guys.


4. Big moments make you look weird

Riccardo Chailly is a magnificent man, please don't get us wrong. But conducting makes you do some strange things with your body.


5. Polo necks

You may start out as one of those young, cool conductors who wears whatever they like to rehearsals. But the polo neck will claim you. It will hunt you down and consume you. Fear it.


6. Unanswerable questions

"Maestro, should we begin this phrase with up-bows or down-bows?"

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7. When the orchestra can't keep up


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8. Soloists in concertos

"If you could have the cadenza finished in the next couple of hours, that'd be great. I'll just stand here."

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9. Studying scores in your spare time

Musicians have practising, which at least makes a nice sound. Reading scores is way boring.

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10. Musicians

Yeah, yeah, they're 'essential' to an orchestra. But come on guys. If you just left the playing to conductors then they wouldn't even need to be told how to play the pieces correctly, right?

(via Blogspot)