In the spirit of fairness and balance and for the good of music in general, we’ve established a list of “top tips” for conductors offered by each section in the orchestra. Take them to heart and you’ll go far.
Or maybe you won’t 🙂
Flute- I picked this flute because this is the kind of flute I like and make the sound I want to make, and telling me how great the wooden/platinum/graphite/foam-rubber flutes sound in your other orchestra just makes me want to gnaw my own legs off
Oboe- This reed sucks, this reed sucks, this reed sucks.
Clarinet- I’m not conducting the flutes, I’m conducting you.
Bassoon- Please don’t program Beethoven 4 this year. Or next year.
Horn- We’re really the reason people come to the concerts, but we can also be the reason they stay away
Trumpet- Your beat needs to be as precise as our embouchure and tongue or you are going to cause us problems. And when we have problems, you have problems.
Trombone- I have more recordings of this symphony than you do. Just sayin’….
Tuba- I know everything there is to know about coffee and wine. Ask me and learn.
Timpani- It would be better if you were less aware of what stick I was using and more aware of what pitches I’m playing (some of which may be different than in the score)
Tambourine- Wouldn’t it be easier to just tell the rest of the orchestra to play louder?
Harp- The fact I could be making three times as much playing a wedding means I’m really here out of pity.
Violin 1- We’re going with the concertmaster. You work it out with her/him
Violin 2- Learning our names would go a long way towards establishing your credibility.
Viola- The bowings are not fine, they can never be fine.
Cellos- At least half of us are conductors, too, and half of those are more experienced conductors than you. Toscanini, Barbirolli, Ivan Fischer, Harnoncourt- they were all sat in the cello section for conductors just like you, silently making up their minds and waiting for their chance.
Basses- We would rather not be required to gaze at your backside while you lavish your attention on the first violins.
Everyone in the orchestra- Let us go home 20 minutes early and we’ll love you
Your CEO- Let them go home 20 minutes early and I may fire you