Photography by Richard Anderson
Students in the graduate conducting program traveled to the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall last week to participate in a master class with the musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop, music director of the BSO and director of the graduate conducting program at Peabody.
Maestra Alsop thanked the BSO musicians for their time and asked them to think of comments for each student that would assist the student in being “as helpful, musical, and communicative as possible.”
One by one students conducted a short excerpt, Ms. Alsop asked the BSO musicians for their feedback. Their responses were sometimes broad, “when the music changes, you need a new mood or a different energy,” but often the musicians offered specific comments on a small moment.
“You looked and you smiled,” one BSO soloist remarked of the cue to her entrance. “It looked disciplined and like you had a plan.”
Maestra Alsop pointed out places that could be improved and asked for them to be played again, guiding the students. “Look to make a connection with the violins,” Ms. Alsop explained at one point, “The violins want more communication.”
One musician mentioned that it was a rare and interesting experience to be able to give feedback to a conductor and let them know how they would like to be lead through a piece of music.
Master classes are a hallmark of Peabody education, allowing students to work with top musicians like visiting distinguished artists Midori and Eric Owens. For a complete list of master classes held at Peabody visit peabody.jhu.edu/masterclasses. All Peabody master classes are free and open to the public.