PT12: Breaking In, with Robert Debbaut

How do we break into the scene and build relationships that lead to great conducting opportunities? Robert Debbaut talks with us about how he “hung out” with Gustav Meier for a year, the extra-musical benefits of observing the Chicago Symphony, and how he started an orchestra by cold-calling almost 600 musicians.

This week we discuss:

  • Wisdom from Debbaut that I got in High School and still share to this day.
  • Starting an orchestra in Kansas City by emailing 600 strangers
  • Getting into school by “hanging out” with Gustav Meier in Michigan
  • How to meet great conductors
  • How to break into the scene of guest conducting
  • A beautiful story about Debbaut’s relationship with Maurice Abravanel
  • Why all musicians need to know the score
  • Programming Resources
  • Conducting Resources
  • Learning the minutia of a composer’s motivations and intentions
  • Kiril Kondrashin’s Pathétique: 
  • Debbaut’s Hidden Gem: Saint-Saëns Symphony no. 1
  • Some Final advice on looking for patterns

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