PT85: “How to be Confident, Effective, and Humble on the Podium,” with Jeffery Meyer

Today we talk with Jeffery Meyer, Director of Orchestras at Arizona State University and Artistic Director of the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic about being confident while conducting. We jump right in at the beginning of the interview by talking about the biggest issues that arise in young conductors and how we can have better ears for the orchestra’s sound. We also cover how you can develop your conviction, the importance of real relationships in music, and the most important qualities that he looks for in young conductors.

Today we discuss:

  1. The biggest issues with young conducting students, and how to listen to the ensemble and work collaboratively with the orchestra musicians (3:39)
  2. How to expand your palate of what is possible to do with an orchestra by watching rehearsals and studying recordings (7:49)
  3. How creating music is more complex than reading and interpreting the score, and how Historically Informed Practice and the instruments a composer used shape the sounds we should create (13:21)
  4. What musicianship is, and how it develops over time in a conductor (20:01)
  5. Advice for when you don’t feel confident when conducting, how to develop your conviction, and why it’s critical to make imagined sounds physical. (24:48)
  6. Jeffery Meyer’s eclectic interests (juggling, magic, composition, etc) and how they all led to him being a conductor (37:10)
  7. How Jeffery founded the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic with a friend he met at a workshop, and how developing friendships with other professionals leads to new opportunities (46:53)
  8. How every detail of our conducting and interactions works towards or takes away from the trust and influence we have with the orchestra, and the importance of learning extra-musical skills (52:30)
  9. The most important qualities of a young conductor that Jeff looks for in his students, and how his priorities as a teacher have developed over time (1:00:23)
  10. Jeffery’s Hidden Gems and Final Advice (1:09:47)

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