PT9.5: The Business of our Art, Part 2, with Viswa Subbaraman

This is part 2 of our interview with Viswa Subbaraman. Today we continue our previous conversation about the business of orchestras, as well as get into the weeds about what you won’t learn in your conducting degree.

Show notes for Episode 9

This week we discuss:

  • “We have the most idiotic art form in the world.”
    • The terrible cycle of ticket prices
  • How do we have the necessary conversations about money?
    • “Until we’re at the table actually having these discussions and showing that we get the problem, the people actually representing Mozart, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev, are not going to be there.”
    • Communicating to marketers: why we need to perform this
  • The duty of the Music Director
  • Understanding your community
    • “we’ve gone back to marketing: pre-1900”
  • Us vs Them mentality with administration
  • What you don’t learn in your degree
    • Leonard Slatkin’s Conducting Institute
    • The realities of travel and freelancing
      • Packing five weeks of your life into two suitcases
      • You can hate it, or you can really love those moments on the podium
  • Would Viswa do it again?
  • Advice for graduating students
  • The hard truths about becoming a conductor.
    • “You have to find a way to survive until you’re good at this!”
    • Americans must be creative
    • Take absolutely every opportunity
  • The most honest biography of the most honest musician:
  • More hard truths
    • “We get those great moments, but we also have to do the other side of the job.”

Order the book that every conductor should read: The Priest of Music

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