I don’t know if I can say this definitively, but as far as I know, Vftp is the oldest conductor’s blog still going, and when I first started I couldn’t find any examples of other substantial blogging projects by any other conductors.
While it’s nice to be first, we all need models and in those days, conductors didn’t tend to write about or discuss their craft- “better to be a little mysterious” was the generally accepted best practice. One early exception to this was Ivan Fischer, conductor and founder of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. His website had some very interesting and frank “conductor’s journal” entries and a few short articles exploring different aspects of the life and craft of a conductor. The website has been offline for many years now, which is a pity- there were a number of things up there I would have liked to have pointed my students towards. One such article I remembered vaguely as being very interesting was “Ninety-two Thoughts for Young Conductors.”
An archived version of the site has re-appeared on webarchive.org (a reminder that once something is online, it is there forever, whether you want it there or not), and there was one section of the “92 Thoughts” that sounded eerily like what I’ve been telling the students at the Rose City International Conductor’s Workshop the last few summers-
Don’t show anything.
Beating is an insult to musicians.
The orchestra sounds better without beat.
You must radiate music.
Ivan is saying what I’ve learned from hard and painful experience- I thought I’d figured it out for myself, not read it (it’s frightening how much we forget we’ve heard or read before). In fact, you can read a thing like this, but you’ve still got to figure it out for yourself or it means nothing
In any case, it’s worth taking an hour or two to explore the archive- it’s an interesting snapshot of an important conductor’s working life a decade ago. Maybe one day, he’ll find time to start his own blog….