PT94: “It’s Never About You,” with David Leibowitz

Today we talk with David Leibowitz, Music Director and Founder of the New York Repertory Orchestra, about how he’s programmed 20 seasons with NYRO without repeating any pieces, how he defines and builds balanced programs, and why young conductors flourish once they can let get out of their own inward focus.

David Leibowitz discusses:

  • How David Founded the New York Repertory Orchestra, and how he used concerts to raise engagement with his volunteer players (1:37)
  • How NYRO has been able to perform for 20 years without repeating repertoire, and how this builds trust with their audiences and sets them apart for publicity and grant writing (7:03)
  • How NYRO’s flexibility and focus on unheard repertoire attracts great soloist (21:57)
  • How David builds and defines “balanced” programs, and why they are based on music and internal logic rather than concert themes (28:23)
  • The importance of conducting opera for developing technique, and how the rhythm of language affects phrasing, accents, and just about everything else (37:25)
  • The importance of rhythmic precision, and how David developed great rhythm in school with the help of a tutor (46:52)
  • David’s early conducting teachers, and the most common problems he encounters when teaching at workshops (56:27)
  • Closing thoughts, Hidden Gems, and Final Advice (1:13:53)

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