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CBC Radio 2's Tempo and CBC Music are collaborating to give away Sony Classical's Fritz Reiner: The Complete RCA Album Collection. The comprehensive collection includes 63 CDs and a 160 page booklet.

Fritz Reiner is considered one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century. He lived the best musical decade of his life while conducting the Chicago Symphony beginning in 1952. Igor Stravinsky called the Reiner's orchestra, "the most precise and flexible orchestra in the world." Luckily for us, stereophonic sound technology was newly developed and used to record many of their legendary performances. Reiner credits the amazing technicians from RCA for somehow capturing the richness of the orchestra so lushly, while the technology was still so new. 

Reiner was born in Hungary in 1888 and studied with many amazing musicians. Béla Bartók was his piano teacher for two years. The young Reiner also worked with Richard Strauss before moving to America to conduct the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. While teaching in Philadelphia, his list of students included Leonard Bernstein where legend has it that Bernstein received the only A that Reiner ever gave.

Reiner was famous for his stern temper which not all musicians could handle. But those who could deal with the abuse often raved about the genius of his conducting.

To be eligible to win the 63 disc box set, tell us who your favourite conductor is, and why she or he is your favourite, in 100 words or less.

Leave your comments in the comment section below, before 11:59 a.m. ET on Jan. 16.

If you're not yet a member of CBC Music you will need to create a username before leaving your comments.

One winner will be chosen and announced on Friday's Tempo, on Jan. 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. NT).

For contest rules and regulations, click here.

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Enter to win a Fritz Reiner box set from CBC Radio 2’s Tempo

CBC Radio 2's Tempo and CBC Music are collaborating to give away Sony Classical's Fritz Reiner: The C…

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MahasiMethod
#1 posted by
MahasiMethod
on Jan 13, 2014

Fritz Reiner. Without hesitation. His physicality passed beyond spectacle. They used to say of Reiner how when the music stopped every light in the city would dim. Once, in Budapest, at the opening of the 3rd movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Fritz Reiner casually made his way through the orchestra in order to thrash a young oboist from Brazil who had asthma. The orchestra, terrified out of their wits, continued playing. It was one of the best performances in years. 

Luc Labelle
#2 posted by
Luc Labelle
on Jan 13, 2014

My choice would definitely be Mariss Jansons for his recordings of Tchaikovsky's Symphonies.  It is a work of beauty. Everytime I listen to these recordings, I am always amazed at the sheer beauty of that music. The melancholy, the sadness, but also sometimes the feelings of joy. It is one of my treasured CD sets in my collection.

 

Cicero104
#3 posted by
Cicero104
on Jan 13, 2014

So hard to tell, as there were so many outstanding conductors in those years: Wilhelm Furtwangler, Pierre Monteux, Erich Kleiber - to name three of my favorites from those decades - among countless others. Fritz Reiner is among them, for the energy, brilliance and orchestral perfection he brought to Strauss and to the Romantic repertoire, and for his support of Bartok, a fellow-Hungarian. A pity that Reiner seems to have been, by all accounts, a flawed human being.  

ClassicalFanMatty
#4 posted by
ClassicalFanMatty
on Jan 13, 2014

I've never been so educated and entertained as by Bramwell Tovey! He's light-hearted, informative, and talented! I was certainly lucky to see him at the TSO last summer, conducting Rhapsody in Blue AND the Enigma Variations. A true entertainer and fantastic conductor! 

onlytony
#5 posted by
onlytony
on Jan 13, 2014

i have no favourite conductors i only have vague memories of pieces by certain conductors that i find exquisite  or profound or entertaining or sublime or on the money or anyway you get my idea    keep up the good work

steve olley
#6 posted by
steve olley
on Jan 13, 2014

My choice is Charles Dutoit, who from 1977 to 2002 conducted the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. During the eighties and nineties, the OSM, recorded classic pieces that still stand as triumphs. Pieces such as Jupiter by Holst, Rossini's The Barber of Seville, and particularly their recordings of the works of Ravel. I remember hearing Daphne et Chloe for the first time, it was as if I was lifted off the Earth, lost in a dream of delight. Dutoit conducted with a vibrancy that brought music to life, thrilled his audience and converted non-believers into the world of classical music.

jf471
#7 posted by
jf471
on Jan 13, 2014

No doubt Reiner was a formidable conductor and musical force, however it was an era of what I call dictator-conductors like him; Toscanini; Szell; Klemperer...For all their great qualities, I was never overly fond of conductors who terrorized the musicians. Quiet the opposite, and my all-time favorite is Bruno Walter, a quiet giant who instilled his masterly visions and love of music to the musicians without making scenes and having temper tantrums and what great music did he create!!!! For my money; his Brahms and Mahler recordings are unsurpassed even today.

Ethel Harris
#8 posted by
Ethel Harris
on Jan 13, 2014

Yannick Nezet-Sequin he's my favorite conductor. His musical energy superb, his versatility and range, from a dramatic performance of "Carmen" to the emotional depth and spirituality of the St. John passion the first note of which pierced my heart.

SLFlora
#9 posted by
SLFlora
on Jan 13, 2014

As a former orchestral musician for over 40 years, I could list a few who were/are my favourites. When listening to Tempo, I'm not too often surprised to learn who is conducting after hearing a well-performed (in my opinion) and familiar piece. If it isn't Charles Dutoit (Montreal Symphony), it increasingly is Yannick-Nezet Seguin conducting. Aside from his amazing ability to elicit the best from each and every musician, his musical maturity is quite beyond his age. [The fact that he is being recorded in today's market says a lot]. He is certainly one of the most outstanding conductors around today, and may eventually join the ranks of some of the greatest conductors.

AlanBrand
#10 posted by
AlanBrand
on Jan 13, 2014

I pick Fritz Reiner. ... because I'd be frightened not too!

ERL BROS
#11 posted by
ERL BROS
on Jan 13, 2014

I have a few favourites, but I would have to choose Charles Dutoit during his tenure with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.  He made fantastic recordings with the MSO, particularly of Russian and French music but let's not forget Elgar and Holst.  There are tons of other conductors I love but I suppose that having been around during what I call the ''Golden Age'' of the MSO, Mr. Dutoit is my pick here!

theragandboneshop
#12 posted by
theragandboneshop
on Jan 13, 2014

Carlo Maria Giulini: When I was 8 and riding in the back of my Dad's Oldsmobile, he put on a recording of Giulini conducting Beethoven's 7th.  I had always rolled my eyes at my Dad's old music.  But that day something seized my heart and has never surrendered it.  I've heard many conductors whose passion and technical excellence amaze.  But that old recording of Giulini and Beethoven's 7th makes me feel a child again, falling in love with the classics despite never meaning to.  So now I play it for my children and laugh when they roll their eyes!

Alexandre4
#13 posted by
Alexandre4
on Jan 13, 2014

Even though I like very much the Reiner's recordings I already have, I must say that my favorite conductor is Carlos Kleiber. Any of Kleiber's recordings is a new listening experience, even of pieces as well known as Beethoven's fifth. 

phillygyro
#14 posted by
phillygyro
on Jan 13, 2014

I pick Carlos Kleiber. Out of his limited repertoire, he conveyed great intensity and inspiration like no others in real world. Sometimes I even feel that he had a direct line to heaven, so to create impromptu moments with some sort of gestures I can only say magic. Nobody can copy him, let me put this way, when you try to catch Melos, she's gone, with Carlos, Melos with him all the time. Rosenkavalier is a must!

edgonzalez
#15 posted by
edgonzalez
on Jan 13, 2014

I have enjoyed the artistry of many directors (including Fritz Reiner), but  the one that stands out recently goes to Gustavo Duhamel.

He extracted the music talent of young musicians through the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra.  He brings a youthful, innovative and engaging approach to music making which has received world acclaim

 I recalled having to stop the car a few years ago to listen to an interpretation of a Bethoven symphony with the Simon Bolivar orchestra

Edgardo Gonzalez

edgonzalez@telus.net 

George Suschkov
#16 posted by
George Suschkov
on Jan 13, 2014

To me, Mario Bernardi was as good as it gets.  His Mozart performances were almost definitive.  He started Canada's National Art Centre Orchestra, brought national recognition to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted the CBC-Radio Orchestra in Vancouver, one of the few remaining radio orchestras in North America.  In musical terms, he was Captain Canada.  

hotmot
#17 posted by
hotmot
on Jan 13, 2014

Without hesitation : Karl Richter.  Not only was Herr Richter an outstanding conductor of the music of J.S. Bach he was also a musician and a renowned performer of Herr Bach's organ works (many of which were recorded) ... to the delight of we Bach aficionados.

Tom also
#18 posted by
Tom also
on Jan 13, 2014

Unabashedly Canadian choice - Mario Bernardi. We were fortunate to be in Ottawa when the NAC was formed and heard its first concerts. I was amazed at the clarity, cohesiveness and beauty he brought to this fledgling orchestra, unlike anything I had heard to that date from the other "major" orchestras that visited Ottawa. We followed a good deal of his Ottawa career including an opera season.

In the intervening years I never failed to stop and appreciate his performances from Calgary and Vancouver  - he was truly a musical gift to Canada and all of us.

adyck1
#19 posted by
adyck1
on Jan 13, 2014

My favourite conductor is Helmut Rilling. About two decades ago, I sang under his direction as part of the Mennonite Festival Chorus in Winnipeg (we performed Haydn's 'Creation' with the WSO). Rilling's precise, measured, simple and clear conducting during rehearsal contrasted with the vibrancy of his conducting in performance—each evening, his conducting became more impassioned and fiery. Afterwards, one of my fellow choristers said, " I feel as if we just witnessed the very first sunrise at the creation of the world."

Belcant
#20 posted by
Belcant
on Jan 13, 2014

There are many fine conductors but my personal favorite is James Levine, conductor of the Metropolitan Opera for so many years.  I am particularly fond of Wagner's Ring cycle that he conducted in the late 80's.

verhpa3
#21 posted by
verhpa3
on Jan 13, 2014

My favorite conductor is Bramwell Tovey  of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The way he has improved the orchestra's dedication and performance is phenominal. He also has a great sense of humor. The VSO is lucky to have him.

marlene lovinsky
#22 posted by
marlene lovinsky
on Jan 13, 2014

I submit Arturo Toscanini. He conducted with verve, intensity and imagination both symphonic and operatic music. (he became a conductor accidentally at the age of 19, after being asked to conduct Aida, which he did completely from memory) Politically, he opposed Mussolini and he refused to play the fascist anthem.I enjoy his collaboration with Vladimir Horowitz as well as his operatic recordings with many of the great operatic performers of his day. 

kkp
#23 posted by
kkp
on Jan 13, 2014

Christopher Hogwood. He, along with David Munrow, was instrumental in reviving early music and the use of period instruments in performance. While being a specialist/scholar in early music he also has conducted contemporary orchestras and contemporary pieces.

JDobson
#24 posted by
JDobson
on Jan 13, 2014

My favourite conductor is Leonard Bernstein. One of the very first classical music pieces I heard and liked was Shostokovich's 5th symphony which I heard on Tempo. Wanting to hear it again I looked it up on youtube and saw Bernstein conducting it. The sweat literally dripped off of him as he conducted and he was so passionately connected with the music it just made me admire him. His was a passion that could shake the world.

onlytony
#25 posted by
onlytony
on Jan 13, 2014

thanks to the cbc not one of the conductors mentioned is unknown to me

musicdog
#26 posted by
musicdog
on Jan 13, 2014

I like Kevin Mallon: he's smart, funny, ballsy and has eclectic musical tastes.  His story about meeting Van Morrison was most amusing.  And, he makes great music.

boutlou
#27 posted by
boutlou
on Jan 13, 2014

My favorite (I have two really) is Gustavo Dudamel for his youth, his energy and for his work with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, which I believe is what propelled him to notoriety.  He is proof that you need not terrorize your musicians (as many in the past have done; Reiner, Karajan, Dutoit....) in order to have them surpass themselves.  Mutual respect is obvious to me when he is conducting.  A second choice is Kent Nagano for similar reasons.  His taking over the OSM after Dutoit must have been an immense relief to those musicians.

musicworks
#28 posted by
musicworks
on Jan 13, 2014

Bruno Walter. I grew up discovering the orchestral music of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and especially Mahler through the recorded performances of Bruno Walter. His recordings of Mahler are still definitive for me and I can still remember the excitement of hearing Mahler's Resurrection Symphony for the first time on old Columbia LPs. What made Walter's recordings special was not only his romantic touch but the fact that he was a living link (at the time) to Gustav Mahler, having worked as a conducting assistant in Vienna with the composer himself.

 

MEN
#29 posted by
MEN
on Jan 13, 2014

Leonard Bernstein.  He was a composer as well as a conductor.  He was also a significant educator.  His recording of the Eroica Symphony changed my life.  It has never ceased to inspire me.  I'll never forget a performance of the New York Phil, with Bernstein conducting that I attended.

Kenonglen
#30 posted by
Kenonglen
on Jan 13, 2014

I experienced Reiner with Chicago Symphony on tour in London, Ontario around 1960. An old bent-over man hobbled on stage, was barely able to climb on the podium, glared at the orchestra for about one minute and then poked one finger towards the woodwinds as if asking for an A. Instead, the orchestra burst into music while the old man looked scanned from side side to side across the players. At some points he made the occasional hand gesture but these were spare and rare. Clearly, all the work he need to do had been done.

Dr.BradEClark
#31 posted by
Dr.BradEClark
on Jan 13, 2014

Dr.BradEClark

Seiji Ozawa.  I was a United Church Minister when I discovered Ozawa.  It was his enthusiasm for his work and the way he could inspire his orchestra that impressed me.  As a minister I had the daunting task of trying to communicate with congregations particularly through preaching.  Ozawa inspired my own creativity and enthusiasm for my task.

Joseph E Fasciani
#32 posted by
Joseph E Fasciani
on Jan 13, 2014

For me, the greatest conductor will always be Otto Klemperer, for so many reasons!  I was in my last two years of High School [1959 & 1960] when I heard his new EMI recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.  I was taking German and sang in our boy's chorus during the same time, and he inspired me to memorise the choral section and perfect my German.  Later I bought his recording of the Beethoven piano concertos with Barenboim, as I feel these are the best interpretations currently available.  As one musician said of Klemperer, "When he conducts, I feel as though Beethoven himself is before me!"

ernieandbeatrice
#33 posted by
ernieandbeatrice
on Jan 14, 2014

The first conductor that I became familiar with was Charles Dutoit when he was leading the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. This introduction to Classical music performed by a famous orchestra under the direction of such a skilled conductor opened my eyes to a wonderful new world, far distant from my rural Saskatchewan roots.

MLWR
#34 posted by
MLWR
on Jan 14, 2014

My favorite conductor is Dinuk Wijeratne, Music Director of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He is an amazing mentor and role model for the young musicians in the NSYO. Under his direction, they get to experience the works of many composers. His passion inspires so many youth to continue their music studies. 

puppyluver4ever96
#35 posted by
puppyluver4ever96
on Jan 14, 2014

When I first began to listen to classical music, I did not really know the names of famous 20thcentury conductors. The first piece I heard was Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Although it was a recording, I could just hear the energy Bernstein was putting into his conducting. His love and energy he puts into his conducting made me want to listen to more classical music. He gave me a real appreciation for all the classical music that does not get talked about enough.  



zeus9t9
#36 posted by
zeus9t9
on Jan 14, 2014

Best by far - Mr. Brown, high school teacher. I took his classical and jazz music classes through all 5 years of high school. Favourite experience was when he brought our grade 12 jazz class to a retirement home where we played big band classics to a packed room. Our first gig! He did a great job of keeping us together and swinging to his beat. He passed on a love of music that I have kept with me ever since. 

Rockyoursoul
#37 posted by
Rockyoursoul
on Jan 14, 2014

Herbert von Karajan for his economy of movement and ability to draw the most from each member of the orchestra.

rad2fan
#38 posted by
rad2fan
on Jan 14, 2014

Valery Gergiev. Having heard him conduct live a couple of times with the Kirov Orchestra I have never heard such an incredible sound, ever! The playing was so tight, accurate, powerful and well balanced it brought tears of emotion and shivers all at the same time. Conducting in HD! And he looks such a formidable character, perhaps not the case but one imagines the players living in fear of making the most minor slip. Plus, what was he using as a baton, a toothpick? Sure looked like it!

desperaudio
#39 posted by
desperaudio
on Jan 14, 2014

Ohhhhh - "Favourite Conductor". What a question! How does one put a fork into that? So many great conductors with so many different interpretive styles. Some days I could listen to Mengelberg or Van Beinum or Furtwangler from dawn 'til dark. The former two with the Concertgebouw Orchestra? Africkenmazing. "Furtie" had a style all of his very own and I bemoan all the troubles he had during the Nazi regime. What a shame. Early Von Karajan - not so much the later version. Dutoit with the MSO still has my all time fav "Planets". Walks all over the Mehta/LSO recording - IMHO of course. Celibidache, if only he had cared to record more - but always great, along with Giuliani, when you want a nice slow view of a composition.

Monteux or Reiner for the Rite of Spring? Such a tough choice. Simon Rattle with the Birmingham - but less so with the BSO.

Then there's all the 'new' kids - Nizet-Seguin, "The Dude" when he's working Latin, Gergiev when he's kicking out the jams with Russian works....

So - who's my favourite? I just do not know!

kaitlyn Boulding
#40 posted by
kaitlyn Boulding
on Jan 14, 2014

My favourite conductor is Gustavo Dudamel. Why? Two words: the hair! 

Ridley Gillmore
#41 posted by
Ridley Gillmore
on Jan 14, 2014

My favourite conductor is Herbert Von Karajan.  I attended a concert the Berlin Philharmonic gave in Carnegie Hall in 1974 conducted by Karajan.  They played Brahms's 2nd and 4th symphonies. I had never heard an orchestra sound the way they did.  It was a profound experience for me that I will never forget.  Karajan is often criticized for the glossy sound he preferred from orchestras.   The sound I heard in 1974 was rich and powerful.  After this concert I decided to switch majors in my University.  I was in science and moved on over to music.  One concert, one conductor and one change in life's course.  I have never looked back!

kaitlyn Boulding
#42 posted by
kaitlyn Boulding
on Jan 14, 2014

John Bogardus, the conductor of the wind ensemble, choir, orchestra, Vesuvius chamber orchestra, as well as the music director and co-founder of the Halifax Music Co-op, is my favourite conductor. The HMC is a fiery young non-profit organization determined to make ensemble music accessible to everybody in Halifax. The HMC’s approach to music education, and broader mission of music for social change, brings the El Sistema model to Halifax. Bogardus' energy and exceptional conducting inspires and makes the musical life accessible to a broad Halifax community.

oldmonovian
#43 posted by
oldmonovian
on Jan 14, 2014

Glorious John! Sir John Barbirolli. At the age of nine I heard the opening drum roll of the Thieving Magpie overture conducted by Sir John at the Walthamstow Assembly Hall and I was entranced. I was introduced to the wonderful world of great music performed live. I have been to many, many concerts but it was Sir John that opened the door.  And the one recording I could never live without: Sibelius Second Symphony with Barbirolli conducting the Royal Phil and recorded in my home town of Walthamstow. Thank you Sir John.

palezulu
#44 posted by
palezulu
on Jan 14, 2014

As much as I have enjoyed listening to Fritz Reiner conducting all these wonderful orchestras, I still like the work of Herbert von Karajan, perhaps because it was his leading of the Berlin Philharmonic in Beethoven's 5th Symphony, (the very first LP I purchase after discovering Classical music.) which has set the stage for my listening pleasure.

But having said that, this set would make a very welcome addition to my collection.

Fifth Point
#45 posted by
Fifth Point
on Jan 14, 2014

I liked Lawrence Welk as my favourite conductor because of how he went " ... and ah one and ah two...".  Oh yes and those champagne bubbles, cool.

 

Just to get entered. 

Gallagher99
#46 posted by
Gallagher99
on Jan 14, 2014

Without any hesitation my favourite conductor is Yannick Nézet-Séguin because he has the technical ability and the musical knowledge of an established maestro. He also commands a supernatural amount of energy. I have seen him in person conduct his Rotterdam Symphony Orchestra and I was moved to tears.

Polly May
#47 posted by
Polly May
on Jan 14, 2014

I can’t speak to musical abilities or techniques but as far as having the personality passion & the ability to communicate one’s love of music, Bramwell Tovey was inspirational.  

Many years ago living through another cold winter in Winnipeg a new kid was on the block. His name was Bramwell Tovey. This meant nothing to me for although I loved music, I was hardly very aware. It didn’t take long however, for his enthusiasm to affect me and so I became part of a regular audience to the Winnipeg Symphony and Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Winter became bearable.

 

jchng
#48 posted by
jchng
on Jan 14, 2014

Herbert von Karajan. In spite of Nazi connexions, his 1982 recording of Carmen with Agnes Baltsa and Jose Carreras is unparalleled. The rich colours of gypsy dance, tender flute entr'acte, and spectacle of the crowds on bullfight day come alive through orchestral magic commanded by a maestro. Honourable mention to Charles Dutoit and the OSM for Bolero and French repertoire in general, as well as Swan Lake.

Derek Lindner
#49 posted by
Derek Lindner
on Jan 14, 2014

I'm with #46 Gallagher.

Yannick Nezet Seguin and his mentor Carl Maria Giulini are the only two conductors who have a hope of breaking my new year's resolution.

"This year I'm trying to become a complete Brahms hater, not just the easy orchestra stuff but really try & hate the PianoQuartets & HornTrio"

@lindnerior

onlytony
#50 posted by
onlytony
on Jan 14, 2014

i hope they take the challenge

ross munro
#51 posted by
ross munro
on Jan 14, 2014

My favourite, since I have to choose one, would be Jeanne Lamon of Tafelmusik.  She has taken this ensemble to the world and excelled in a great range of music.  Always brilliant and unique in bringing life to authentic performance of my favourite musical era.

 

YEG Bob
#52 posted by
YEG Bob
on Jan 14, 2014

I am affectionately called the 'old man' at my workplace by the thirty something crowd, and I am only fifty one years old. I have kept my youthful exuberance for life by working alongside them and by listening to a 'thirty something' named Gustavo Dudamel conduct. His youthful energy, zeal, and passion for life emanates out in all he does. He is my favourite conductor because he keeps me 'forever young'.

jiminstoon
#53 posted by
jiminstoon
on Jan 14, 2014

Sir Simon Rattle.  Ten years ago, during our first visit to Vienna, my wife and I had the opportunity of hearing the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon at the Musikverein.  Both the music and the venue were exceptional.  Since that memorable occasion Sir Simon has been our favourite conductor.

Gerald Young
#54 posted by
Gerald Young
on Jan 14, 2014

Dick Bonynge is my choice, because he was a true crusader of the forgotten opera pearls of the bel canto area and the 19th century; he compiled some fantastic recordings, quite often with his wife Dame J. Sutherland and her side kick Luciano Pavarotti. He was briefly the Music Director of the Vancouver Opera Association where he nearly broke the financial bone of this organization by reviving Jules Massenet"s `Le Roi de Lahore`,which necessitated brand new costumes, decors, and a huge cast. I then became a Director of the Association and worked hard along the rest of the board to restore the finances of VOA.

 

Gerald Young

White Rock B.C.; 604-542-5751

LauraMoeller
#55 posted by
LauraMoeller
on Jan 14, 2014

In my opinion, the best conductor is Leonard Slatkin. Mr. Slatkin is american born conductor who has been involved with numerous orchestral companies, and been a champion for classical music.  I first saw Mr.Slatkin conducting the ST.Louis Symphony Orchestra a few years ago and have loved his style, finesse and command of the orchestra ever since.  In 1990 Leonard Slatkin conducted the orchestra while performing Music of Samuel Barber after I listened to this performance I was able to say "I know what Heaven is." 

tjscott
#56 posted by
tjscott
on Jan 14, 2014

Favourite conducter?  Tough choice but I would have to say Arturo Toscanini  He took the NBC Symphony to the top of the lists of U.S. orchestras.  In addition, through the network broadcasts, he took classical music out of the elitist category and into the homes of every family that then owned a radio.  When NBC disbanded the orchestra the musicians were quickly taken into the ranks of every top musical venue from New York to San Fransisco because every one from Metropolis to Monteaux to Doratti to Ormandy knew that if you could play to meet Toscanini's high standards you would fit right in with his outfit.  I was fortunate enough to hear Misha Mishcoff (concertmaster of the NBC under Toscanini) give a solo performance after the disbanding - one helluva violinist!  That's the kind of talent that Toscanini attracted.

ellne
#57 posted by
ellne
on Jan 14, 2014

Arturo Toscanini for his passion and character

ek03yr
#58 posted by
ek03yr
on Jan 14, 2014

Gustavo Dudamel because of his great energy! 

annabilly
#59 posted by
annabilly
on Jan 14, 2014

Andre Previn is my favourite conductor.  He is amazing and I consider him to be one of the most versatile in the world.  He has won many awards and deserves them too.   I think he really is one of the best ever.   

manuelvizcayalois
#60 posted by
manuelvizcayalois
on Jan 14, 2014

Simon Rattle has developed a mastery of an ever-widening repertory

Frankh
#61 posted by
Frankh
on Jan 14, 2014

The world of cricket has a fielding position - Silly Mid On.  The fielder stands so close to the batsman, he risks being"blown away".  As a schoolboy cricketer our favourite Conductor unfortunately had his nose re-arranged playing that position.  Fortunately, for music lovers, Bramwell Tovey relinquished his bat for a baton and proceeded to "blow away" audiences worldwide.  His humour, conducting ability, compositions and musical performance combined with his lack of pomposity is unsurpassed and ensures that he "owns the podium". 

Manitobans were "hit for a six" when he left and will never forgive the VSO for poaching their ultimate "all rounder" Maestro Tovey.

LaoRen
#62 posted by
LaoRen
on Jan 14, 2014

My favorite is Bramwell Tovey of the Vancouver Symphony.

Edie2010
#63 posted by
Edie2010
on Jan 14, 2014

Andre Rieu is, without a doubt, my favourite conductor. He quite simply makes music enjoyable as well as entertaining. What more could anyone ask?

rdock
#64 posted by
rdock
on Jan 15, 2014

Gustavo Duhamel, for his original interpretations.  The first time I heard one of his recordings was on Tempo.  It was Mahler's 1st symphony, 2nd movement that stood out for me.  This movement is often played very straight and square - almost lightly, but The Dude gave it a lumbering, unsettled quality that really foreshadows much of Mahler's later sound. I now wonder if this is how it was originally intended to be played.  I keep hoping that this version of the symphony will be played on Tempo again some day.

bugatti
#65 posted by
bugatti
on Jan 15, 2014

Sir Neville Marriner......

His repertoire always seemed to be so essentially British.....something that related well to Saint Martin in the  Fields

 

Shulie1
#66 posted by
Shulie1
on Jan 15, 2014

Leonard Bernstein is my all-time favourite conductor - while other conductors seemed to draw the music out of the orchestra, he seemed to send the music to the orchestra in great electrical currents

DaveE
#67 posted by
DaveE
on Jan 15, 2014

Without a doubt my favorite conductor has to be Gustavo Dudamel. He did wonders with the youth orchestra and now is bringing his passion and excitement to the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He brings life and passion to everything he conducts ... love it!

warkwright
#68 posted by
warkwright
on Jan 15, 2014

Georg Solti - whose experiences during the war in Europe are reflected in unsurpassed level of spontaneity & spiritual power. 

organum
#69 posted by
organum
on Jan 15, 2014

Herbert von Karajan for his vision, drive and vigour, and for re-introducing me to the force and beauty of Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius and Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra.

MarikaBH
#70 posted by
MarikaBH
on Jan 15, 2014

My current favourite conductor is Yannick Nezet-Seguin. The reason: it is fantastic talent and energy he infuses in everything he conducts. He is a real "wunderkind" of the conducting community. Last year he conducted a concert in Ottawa where the two orchestras: Orchestre Matropoliatain de Montreal and Nationa Center Orchestra have been joined for a beautiful performance. It was mesmerizing and he makes us Canadians proud with his international success.

Flower painter
#71 posted by
Flower painter
on Jan 15, 2014

Mario Bernardi was and is my favourite conductor. I have many of his recordings and listen to them with great pleasure. A meticulous and emotional approach to the works of Mozart was one of the gifts that he used so well with the many orchestras that he conducted. He had many others such as his great gift of complete concentration when extracting the nuances of feeling from a work. He was able to pass this zeal on to the players in the manner of a leader who knows where the effort will lead. 

menno
#72 posted by
menno
on Jan 15, 2014

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, associate conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.  We are extremely lucky to have a full-time symphony in our small city, and since Daniel’s arrival a few years ago, the TBSO has blossomed in its community outreach programming – so essential!  My family got to know Daniel, and we even invited him to dinner!  My young son loves classical music, and was completely enamored by Daniel and his undying enthusiasm for his craft. He may not be in the most glamorous city, but he is truly opening the world of music in the lives of everyday Canadians.

 

Wellington East
#73 posted by
Wellington East
on Jan 15, 2014

It didn't take much thought to recognize that my personal favourite conductor is William Rowson, of the Moordale Youth Orchestras.  Yes, he gets amazing musical results, but more important is how he gets them.  He explains clearly what is happening in the music, what he wants from his musicians, and why.  He is unfailingly cheerful, honest, and kind with his musicians.  While he is there to lead, guide, and educate them, I have never heard him patronize them.  It is a pleasure listening to him work.

roger51herk
#74 posted by
roger51herk
on Jan 15, 2014

My friends and family know that I am not one to generally voice a favourite in anything - be it a favourite color, place...or music; it's so hard to choose one great thing and not diminish another. Having said that....I would have to say my current favourite is Norman Reintamm, Principal Conductor and Artistic Director, Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra in Toronto... talented, hardworking, innovative and representative of the number of passionate conductors and musicians humbly committed to bringing music to life and accessible in their local communities.

 

DebP
#75 posted by
DebP
on Jan 15, 2014

It's very difficult to choose a favorite conductor. I find my favorite interpretations of different composers are made by various conductors.  I'll go with my first favorite, who really enthused me when I was just being introduced to classical music - von Karajan.

beauchampro
#76 posted by
beauchampro
on Jan 15, 2014

My favourite conductor is Yannick Nezet-Séguin. I've seen him conducting the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on a few occasions. His approach to music is fresh, vivacious and unencumbered. He seems to connect with the musicians he conducts. And, he is Canadian.

bobwsk
#77 posted by
bobwsk
on Jan 15, 2014

Gustavo Dudamel because of his role in El Sistema, as well as his dynamic conducting.  

Toberlone
#78 posted by
Toberlone
on Jan 15, 2014

My favorite conductor is Leonard Bernstein. Why you might ask. Well, there are many reasons that I prefer Maestro  Bernstein to almost all other conductors except possibly Herbert Von Karajan. Bernstein crossed many genres in his compositions.  To me, he recorded the best performance of my favorite piece of music which I plan to have performed at my funeral when the time comes, the Adagietto, Sehr Langsam from Mahler's 5th Symphony. 

myla25
#79 posted by
myla25
on Jan 15, 2014

Bernstein,no one can infuse soul into the music like he could.

JohnK1096
#80 posted by
JohnK1096
on Jan 15, 2014

My choice is James DePriest who passed away last February.  It is a sentimental choice because he was conductor of the Orchestre Symphnie de Quebec when we lived there in the early 80s.  Despite our limited income from me being a student at Laval and my wife working in Health Care and with two kids -- we found time and funds to get to the Centre des Arts to take in performances.  He was a big man -- crippled by Polio as an adult.  I don't much remember the performances, but I remember him.  

He went on to Portland Oregon where I understand he revitalized and renewed their music scene. 

KathrynL
#81 posted by
KathrynL
on Jan 15, 2014

Tempo has exposed me to so much music, but I would have to go with the first one that I ever heard back in grade 5 or 6, Leonard Bernstein.  I remember my sister having an album of his, "Bernstein's Greatest Hits Vol. 2" and just falling in love with classical music at that point.  The selection of Danse Macabre took me back to grade 2 when the music teacher explained the piece of music and I could visualize the scene being played out in front of me.  I still do, although my eyes are usually open when I drive or at work listening to Tempo.

chsm
#82 posted by
chsm
on Jan 15, 2014

Sir Charles Mackerras, the Australian conductor, for the clarity and vivacity of ALL his recordings, and especially for his crystalline Mozart. His recording of Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra surpasses all others for clarity of dramatic line. A revelation!

kaths
#83 posted by
kaths
on Jan 15, 2014

My favourite conductor is Bill Eddins, world-class pianist and conductor of our own Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. An excellent musician, he finds ways to attract new people to classical music – new series, new music – and in a technological age, new ways of communicating.

In 2012 he led the ESO in a performance at Carnegie Hall and has performed internationally. “William Eddins has a captivating energy, a magnetic stage presence, and an adventurous musical curiousity that continues to propel the orchestra to unique, new and exciting achievements.” (ESO website)

Check out his blog! He makes classical music fun!

suzanneelyse
#84 posted by
suzanneelyse
on Jan 15, 2014

Now busily occupied with directing the Toronto Mass Choir/working at York U as a music prof, Karen Burke was once upon a time a high school music teacher and I was fortunate enough to be a student during her stint there. She conducted our bands and choirs with an uncontainable joy that spilled out and over absolutely everyone in the room. Making music with Mrs. Burke at the helm are some of my most favourite memories from high school!

peterpetro
#85 posted by
peterpetro
on Jan 15, 2014

Zubin Mehta. In 2008, during the European soccer cup finals, my wife and I attended an open air concert with the Vienna Philharmonic in front of the Schoenbrunn Palace. We were invited by a friend who was in love with Anna Netrebko, but tickets to her concert, the night before, in the same venue were sold out, still, he wanted to be in the same space were Netrebko performed the night before and so he was there with us to listen to Lang Lang playing the Beethoven Emperor Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. The Viennese were not impressed by Lang Lang and did not applaud for an encore. Then, surprisingly, Mehta dragged in the unhappy and confused Lang Lang. saying: "You don't want him to play an encore? Fine, but I do!" and dragged him to the piano. Lang Lang played like a God and the Viennese went berserk. People stumbled from the concert in a daze, totally amazed by Lang Lang, and Mehta's wisdom, foresight and musical magic. Truly an unforgettable night...

pmow
#86 posted by
pmow
on Jan 15, 2014

Tough choice, but Sir Andrew Davis gets the nod.  One of my earliest orchestral memories is watching my uncle, who was Principal Trombone of the BBC Symphony at the time, play many of the classics of the English orchestral repertoire under his inspired leadership.  My love for the music of Elgar and Walton endures.

Derek Lindner
#87 posted by
Derek Lindner
on Jan 15, 2014

#86 Did you see Sir Andrew did a session for This Is My Music

http://music.cbc.ca/This-is-My-Music

audio tab

LunaticEngine
#88 posted by
LunaticEngine
on Jan 15, 2014

For me, it was Herbert von Karajan. growing up in the 70s I was surrounded by classical music. My mother was a huge Rubenstein fan and so of course I was forced to take piano lessons. My music career never took off though. After my parents divorced we were forced to sell the piano, and the stereo and move to a differnet city and life begin a much more immediate struggle to keep food on the table. Not having a piano or a stereo on which to play her records broke my mother's heart. Even as young teens my brother and I could see that. So we saved paper route and bottle money and in 1986 bought her a new record player for her birthday. We also bought a copy of Verdi's Requiem conducted by Herbert von Karajan's. The look on my mother's face when the needle dropped and those first notes came wafting out is etched in memory. And attached to that memory is Herbert von Karajan.

teekaye
#89 posted by
teekaye
on Jan 15, 2014

By far, my favourite conductor is copper.

Copper knows not professional jealousy. It readily conducts the music of all other conductors.

It is endlessly versatile, conducting any type of music.

It can even be used to roof the concert hall, unlike other conductors such as Charles du Toit. There it glows with golden warmth and ages gracefully with a smooth patina, instead of wrinkles.

It provides a tough metal core in cables, making them stronger than rope for towing vehicles. Admittedly, this does imply a demotion from conductor to the string section.

musicfan911
#90 posted by
musicfan911
on Jan 15, 2014

Among the living conductors that I've heard live several times, Franz-Paul Decker has to be at the top of my list, as a consumate and inspired "musicien extraordinaire", as if his baton was a magic wand that could woo true music lovers in the audience as well as professional or aspiring musicians working under his direction–though often by "tough-love" means–, like my favorite deceased conductor, Fritz Reiner, a relentless perfectionnist and also a genius of interpretation, who could arguably be considered among the very greatest of all conductors, past or present.

tatiana charters
#91 posted by
tatiana charters
on Jan 15, 2014

Gustavo Dudamel is my man on the podium because he brings joy to my heart. As a result of childhood arthritis I had five joint replacements in the course of a few years. As I was recovering from one of these experiences I caught a program about Gustavo Dudamel on the television. Suddenly there was no more gloom and doom in my soul. His exuberant passion for music changed my mood in a wonderful way. My grandmother, who was a violinist (I think a cow must have have stepped on my ear but I do passionately love music in my befuddled way) told me that conductors aren't really necessary. "The first violinist does the job very well", she said. I am sure she would have thought differently had she not died before Gustavo Dudamel came on the scene. If a group larks is an "exaltation", Julie, then I am sure that group of conductors like The Dude should also be called an exultation.  Thank you for your music, Tatiana Charters.

DJIROUSEK
#92 posted by
DJIROUSEK
on Jan 15, 2014

At least for now , my favorite conductor is Jiri Belohlavek. I absolutely love his version of Brahm's first piano concerto. It is powerful, majestic and commanding and Cedric Tiberghien is pretty good at the keys as well. The only other recording that comes close to this one, in my opinion, is Flesher/Szell but then Jiri Belohlavek conducts Bohuslav Martinu and that is what seals the deal for me.  

thealces
#93 posted by
thealces
on Jan 15, 2014

I have to say Carlos Kleiber because his name is the only one I'm familiar with.  I really don't know much about orchestrated music, but I'd like to.

nchana
#94 posted by
nchana
on Jan 15, 2014

My favourite has always been Bruno Walter.  His work on some of Mozarts music is brilliant.

 

I also enjoy the works/interpretations by Karajan and Bernard Haitink.

MJ Kelly
#95 posted by
MJ Kelly
on Jan 15, 2014

My favourite is the late, great, Mario Bernardi. I was fortunate enough to be a native of Ottawa when he conducted the NACO. I was also luckier in being a resident of the Glebe in my youth and a close friend was a babysitter for the Bernardi family -only two streets over!

I was actually able to take a few stolen moments to play piano in his conservatory and I will never forget the peaceful gurgle of the aquariums as I tried to play my early piano lessons on his glorious instrument.

Thanks for your consideration!

arielc08
#96 posted by
arielc08
on Jan 15, 2014

My favourite composer is Erich Kleiber because he combines old-world depth with contemporary and modern sounds. He's fantastic with German rep, as well as opera!

 

 

bookbonobo
#97 posted by
bookbonobo
on Jan 15, 2014

My favourite conductor is Karl Muenchinger. My mum is from Stuttgart, Germany and saw him conduct the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra many times. As a child, many an hour was spent playing in the living room while listening to my parent's Muenchinger records. 

Flippy
#98 posted by
Flippy
on Jan 15, 2014

I've always admired Valery Gergiev. Maybe it's the Russian spirit in half of my heritage but there is an earthy aspect to his conducting in addition to a ferocity and compassion. He seems personable and approachable (American writer, Andrew Meier provides an amiable description of the man in his book about Russia in the post-communist world); one cannot also help but admire his activism and social conscience. Certain conductors have this complicated and conflicted god-like presence. They butt elbows with the composers they bring to life, vying for attention. Gerviev brings humility, flesh and bone to the world of symphonies and operas. And the fact that he conducted in Rotterdam, my Opa's hometown happens to win over the other half of my background.

zamir
#99 posted by
zamir
on Jan 15, 2014

There are many exceptional conductors and recordings. Mehta's Turandot, Karajan's first DG Rosenkavalier, Maazel's Sibelius Symphonies set, Beecham's Mozart Bassoon and Clarinet Concertos - and the list goes on and on...

Your photo of Reiner and Heifetz (probably recording the Beethoven or Brahms Violin Concertos) - hits the jackpot for me - as a gift for my 15th birthday (many many years ago) i received the Brahms/Heifetz/Reiner from a friend. It remains my favourite recording to this day. Heifetz's incredible all-round virtuosity, Reiner's matching magisterial musicianship, and the rich, sumptuous Chicago sound ('56 recording!! - I guess RCA gets an honorable mention here) - make this an indispensable item in a classical music collection of any size.

I would like anyone who reads this comment to take note of an exceptional book on this subject - Norman Lebrecht's 'Maestro Myth', published by Simon and Schuster. It is a survey of the great conductors and the art of conducting, and it is exceptionally well written, very entertaining, never boring. A great read!

laziale09
#100 posted by
laziale09
on Jan 15, 2014

I would have to say Sir Adrian Boult for his rendition of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2, in E Minor. I vividly remember the first time I heard this recording on the old RCA Victor Red Seal vinyl; as soon as the Second Movement: Scherzo; Allegro Molto came upon the speakers in my small listening space, I knew this brooding sound would stick with me forever. Emotional and powerful, Boult's rendition of this classic has literally been composed upon my heart. "Music is enough for a whole lifetime - but a lifetime is not enough for music." (Rachmaninoff)

BCBernhard
#101 posted by
BCBernhard
on Jan 15, 2014

My favourite conductor is Pierre Simard.  He is the artistic director with the Vancouver Island Symphony and the Orchestre symphonique de Drumondville (QC). I love attending concerts conducted by him locally in Nanaimo, BC.  He is passionate, versatile and elegant, in his artistry and his interactions with the audience - his love for music is contagious and breeds enthusiasm that clearly spills over to everyone around him.  Simard's engaging and warm personality have repeatedly delighted me, and brought a wonderful element to his conducting mastery.  He is the breath of fresh air that the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra needed, and he has enlivened the symphony experience for both vetran and novice symphonic concert fans.  Bravo!

 

Fakroon Lakdawalla
#102 posted by
Fakroon Lakdawalla
on Jan 15, 2014

Mr. Yannick Nézet-Séguin is my favourite conductor.His incredible ability ensures that he is extremely busy internationally.And yet his ties to Canada remain very strong.He seems to have such an engaging and friendly manner, based on having heard him twice,once on a Met Opera Broadcast and more recently with M. Mario Paquette of Espace Musique.On a selfish note, with him being so young, I shall have the pleasure of his musical creations In "real time" ,relatively speaking, for the remainder of my lifetime. He is definitely the Jewel in our collective Canadian Crown. Bravo, Mr. Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

 

Thank you,

Fakroon Lakdawalla

604-734-3682

paruru88
#103 posted by
paruru88
on Jan 15, 2014

Fritz Reiner.  He was the start line for my lifetime musical odyssey.  When I was a boy some forty years ago my family moved from Winnipeg to Vancouver.  My parents told me that they couldn't ship most of my personal things including my record collection.  But in the one box I was allotted I successfully stowed away one record:  Fritz Reiner and the Chicago SO performing Beethoven's Ninth.  Miraculously, it survived unwarped.     

chalbe
#104 posted by
chalbe
on Jan 16, 2014

I lived in Montreal from 89 to 95 and very much enjoyed all the concerts conducted by Charles Dutoit. 

David Hawkesworth
#105 posted by
David Hawkesworth
on Jan 16, 2014

While Fitz Reiner is a truly great conductors, I have to say that one of my all time favorite conductors is Leonard Bernstein. My favorite recording of his is the last movement of "Rite of Spring" by Stravinsky. Bernstein totally gets it and draws the best out of the musicians. Subtle, triumphant, and jubilant! Bernstein is simply a master.

BHill
#106 posted by
BHill
on Jan 16, 2014

What a toughie! And how to judge? And attending a live concert is so different from listening to an audio performance where there are constraints in formatting to CDs and LPs, or to those of us who can remember, 78s. As an example, I was somewhat indifferent to Kurt Masur's recordings yet his performance of Bruckner's 4th with the Chicago Symphony a few years ago with it's spaciousness just blew my mind and I did not want it ever to end. However, in a similar vein, my choice would be Leonard Bernstein. As a young lad I attended a performance of his of Mahler's 7th at the Edinburgh Festival. I was in the cheapie seats face on to him and saw his every nod, wink and gesture. It was an experience I can never forget. The music making was overwhelming with so many explorations of different sounds and spurred on my passion for this rich world of classical music.

jwperformer
#107 posted by
jwperformer
on Jan 16, 2014

My favorite conductor is Kent Nagano. He inspires me the way he brings the music to life, keeps it dancing and moving, and he is so connected with the public around him. Two weeks ago I was at an orchestra concert and between the movements of the Beethoven symphony, the audience was having a coughing fit. He patiently waited for us to get over it! Then he turned around to the public in the hall (between the movements of the symphony!) and said in French, which is NOT his language, "That is why we love you!", and then continued conducting the rest of the symphony.Heard him speak after the concert and loved that he said our new concert hall is the peoples' home, your home. He said he and the orchestra are creating the future and he said, as performing artists, "are we courageous or crazy??" I like his simplicity!

jwatson
#108 posted by
jwatson
on Jan 16, 2014

My favourite conductor is Gustavo Dudamel, who I first experienced in music history class. We watched him conduct Berstein's West Side Story with the lights turned off and the volume cranked up. I had shivers the entire time and now I can't get enough of his passionate and lively performances.

Newtonm
#109 posted by
Newtonm
on Jan 16, 2014

Alexandria Noseda - Why? If for no other reason his broadcast of all 9 Beethoven symphonies on BBC a few years ago was electrifying. The BBC kindly made all the broadcasts downloadable and I still play them regularly. His 9th brought tears to my eyes.

Joxer
#110 posted by
Joxer
on Jan 16, 2014

My favorite conductor, coincidentally, is Fritz Reiner.  Growing up in Chicago in the era of his reign over the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 'Dr. Fritz' introduced me to Classical music.  I attended school almost across Michigan Avenue from 'Orchestra Hall'.  We were able to buy very inexpensive student admissions.  I attended often!!!  It was an education in symphonic music.  His interpretations and the quality of that orchestra are still outstanding today.

borzoob
#111 posted by
borzoob
on Jan 16, 2014

My favorite conductor is of course Daniel Barenboim not just because he is a musical genius, but because his life story is as big as life itself. He reminds us a beautiful couple (referring to his marriage to Jacqueline du Pré) that created beautiful music together and ended in tragedy. He is an artist that demonstrates how music, besides its natural beauty, can blow winds of freedom, justice, and peace. I went to his performance of Berlioz's Symphony Fanstastique with the West-Eastern Divan orchestra. This is the orchestra that in 1999 Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said jointly founded as an initiative to bring together a group of beautiful young classical musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories and Arab countries to promote mutual reflection and understanding. I was among the standing audience at BBC Proms in his concert. At the end of the concert, we passionately applauded for more than 15 minutes. It was not only because we listened to an excellent performance. It was because we sensed freedom and peace through music! When he carried the Olympic flag in the opening ceremony of London Olympics in 2012, I said to myself, what a great moment! A distinguished conductor of classical music, the universal language of beauty, carries the flag of an athletics event that is a symbol of unity and equality among all human beings. He is not only an outstanding conductor and pianist, but also a bringer of message of freedom, peace, justice, and humanity. 

chelaine
#112 posted by
chelaine
on Jan 16, 2014

To make a long story short - Alexander Shelley of course.   Classy, handsome, talented and a bundle of energy all rolled into one.   He's a pleasure to watch and his knack for bringing out the best in an orchestra is fantastic.  

jonohw
#113 posted by
jonohw
on Jan 16, 2014

My favourite conductor is the Australian conductor Graham Abbott - only because I was fortunate enough to have him as my music teacher in high school.  It is primarily due to his pedagogical enthusiasm, musical genius, encouragement and personal warmth that I ended up choosing music as my career; and I am very glad of that.  Graham specialises in Handel and opera.  He is also a very popular presenter on ABC-FM, the national classical station in Australia.

Mauvelatte
#114 posted by
Mauvelatte
on Jan 16, 2014

Leonard Bernstein is the greatest conductor. Reiner and Chicago produced one of the greatest sounds, but at great cost to the players. Bernstein’s formidable force came from kindness and a need to realize a composers’ greatest offerings. He achieved this through great conducting, lectures and master-classes. Composing Symphonies, Operas, a Mass for rock band and orchestra, and the Broadway musical, West Side Story, he gave us some of the greatest, and widely diversified music of the 20thCentury. As a conductor his later recordings produced some of the most exquisite renderings in classical music and also brought out of almost total obscurity, the music of Gustav Mahler.



liroco
#115 posted by
liroco
on Jan 16, 2014

Charles Dutoit is one of my favorite conductors.  He has conducted a wide variety of western classical music repertory from classical to modern.  In particular his French and Russian music output is of the highest quality.  His immaculate phrasing reflects the ambience intended by the composer.  I attended a concert of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in which maestro Dutoit conducted the famous Hector Belioz work Symphonie Fantastic.  The performance was electrifying.  Also every week you esteemed program Tempo always plays recordings of the OSM conducted by the Swiss-born maestro.

Lino Correia



miskie
#116 posted by
miskie
on Jan 16, 2014

Sir George Solti. Years ago, he hosted a TV program called "Orchestra" in which he explained all the various sections of an orchestra and how they all come together. He made it simple to understand even for someone with no musical talent.

toomanycrayons
#117 posted by
toomanycrayons
on Jan 16, 2014

I find Reiner's character as described so repellant that I'm not entering the contest.  I feel that the music is contaminated when he's involved; a box set would be too much.  It might spread to the actual pieces.  I shall avoid all of his work in the future.  He is artistically dead to me.  Hey, Dead Reiner!  Yes, you patting your long gone chest at the front.  Are you..LISTENING?  Good!

don we
#118 posted by
don we
on Jan 16, 2014

I like Bramwell Tovey, because of his love of 'new music', or what might be called 'contemporary classical', featuring the music of contemporary composers, especially when he was music director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and ran the New Music Festival there.

vermorel
#119 posted by
vermorel
on Jan 16, 2014

My preference: Sergiu Celibidache. All the above conductors are musicians by formation. By contrast, Celibidache studied mathematics and philosophy. He understood the physics of sound better than anyone, and his scientific formation made him conduct at a slower pace than normally expected in his time.

He took the adversity to canned music to the extreme of not allowing recordings of his concerts, claiming that a listener could not reach outside of the concert hall a level of musical understanding he called the "transcendental experience". 

Newflame
#120 posted by
Newflame
on Jan 16, 2014

My favourite conductor, Rinaldo Alessandrini, came to me via Antonio Vivaldi. I was looking beyond "Four Seasons" and encountered Alessandrini's reconstruction of Vivaldi's personal library and its performance on the Naïve (Opus 111) label, including Vespri per l'Assunzione, whose brilliance continues to thrill. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to see maestro Alessandrini conduct the Canadian Opera Company orchestra in a performance of Handel's Semele that expressively recreated the musicality and ordered liveliness of the Baroque from what is essentially a modern orchestra. His musical intelligence and what must be described as restrained passion will stay with me forever.

SHaronSpall
#121 posted by
SHaronSpall
on Jan 16, 2014
It was the sixties. I loved the Beatles. Our music teacher at Jarvis Collegiate arranged a trip to Massy Hall, to hear the TSO. The conductor was Seiji Ozawa. He was young, enthusiastic and so cool. He had great...hair. I was in love,and I still am. He was also a fine conductor, and got me hooked on a lifetime enjoyment of classical music. Thanks Seiji.
Corey Taylor
#122 posted by
Corey Taylor
on Jan 16, 2014

I would say my favorite conductor is Sir Simon Rattle.  Why. . . because of how he coaxes gently amazing music out of the Berlin Philaramonic.  The orchestra with him at the helm really work as a single entity to recreate beautiful music each time. 

Normallythere
#123 posted by
Normallythere
on Jan 16, 2014
My favourite conductor is Mark Shapiro, wha has brought a fresh new face to our PEI Symphony Orchestra. He is charming and witty, and likes to chat with the audience. He divides his conducting duties between our tiny province and New York City.
sluggersoo
#124 posted by
sluggersoo
on Jan 16, 2014

A very difficult choice, but it comes down to Arturo Toscanini. I love that his first conducting work was by really accident, where he conducted Aida for memory at 19. I love his political views especially, in that he spit in the face of Hitler and lived to tell about it. He conducted the NBC orchestra with brilliance and passion, and heis work with his son in law, Mr. Horowitz was sensational.

jtrencia
#125 posted by
jtrencia
on Jan 16, 2014
Hello Julie Congrats for your program. Kurt Sanderling for me.The first record that I bought was Bethoven's 6th on D Gramophon by Karajan. I palyed it over and over and became an avid listener of versions. I started preferring slow versions like Bohm's interpretations. I also like the way that rythm is modulated in symphonies especially in B's 8th.I did not have a copy of it and found one of both 8th and 9th conducted by Sanderling who favors slower tempi. It inspires me still while trekking in beautiful while landscapes or canoeing. CHEERS, Jacques Trencia
kgreimer
#126 posted by
kgreimer
on Jan 16, 2014

I would have to say the Great Mario Bernardi. I grew up in Calgary in got to see him conduct the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra on many occasions. He was just so talented and had a great love for music.

KGalan
#127 posted by
KGalan
on Jan 16, 2014
Have enjoyed works by many conductors and it is hard to name just one. Today I'll say Sir Colin Davis for his insight, elegance and determination.
rbleyla
#128 posted by
rbleyla
on Jan 16, 2014

My favourite conductor is Gustavo Dudamel. Being so young, helps to attract to classical music more people like him.

IVdS
#129 posted by
IVdS
on Jan 16, 2014

My favorite conductor is Bramwell Tovey from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. With his funny, little speeches he has a marvelous way of connecting 'yesterday's' composers and their music to today's (political) climate and every concert he keeps me engrossed in staring at the soft red glow emanating from underneath his shoes (male Laboutins?). Also, I very much admire his efforts to make classical music relevant to younger people. We definitely have started to see more young people in the VSO's audience. 

jchmusic
#130 posted by
jchmusic
on Jan 16, 2014

Leonard Bernstein. Yeah, it's not a 'cool' choice. First, his music appreciation lectures (which you can still get on NetFlix) get him in the Hall Of Fame on their own. OK as a conductor, some of his performances are a bit over the top, but his recordings of Stravinsky... especially his Firebird Suite/Petruschka and  the one of Apollo and Bartok's Music For Strings.., show just how important a conductor is to breathing -life- into a score. IOW: just listen to Stravinsky's own recordings of the same pieces or some other versions of Bartok and you understand why a lot of people hate 20th century music. To -me- it's almost as if Lenny understood the music -way- more than Stravinsky. It's just more -human-. That's conducting.

Gord3705
#131 posted by
Gord3705
on Jan 16, 2014

While not a conductor in the usual sense of the word, the music director of Tafelmusik, Jeanne Lamon encompasses the characteristics of a great director, the leader on stage as well as consummate performer combined with the ability to build a outstanding ensemble virtually from scratch.    The great success of Tafelmusik, now one of the top baroque orchestras in the world, must be due to outstanding leadership.  On stage it is clear both that Lamon is leading and that the orchestra is so well prepared that almost no leading is required. 

hobid
#132 posted by
hobid
on Jan 16, 2014

From the moment I saw Seiji Ozawa conducting Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy" with the Boston Symphony in 1970 he became my favourite conductor.  I was a student in Worcester MA at the time and this was before he was appointed music director of the BS0. It was clear that the BSO was trying to woo him from Toronto so there were many opportunities to see him practicing his balletic style of conducting either in Boston or at Tanglewood.  Once in order to see him conduct "The Damnation of Faust" by Berlioz at the summer music festival in Tanglewood, I rode my bicycle .  

In the early 1980's I was living in Paris and the Paris Opera orchestra was clearly a long ways from being a coherent and disciplined ensemble.  When Ozawa came to Paris as guest conductor for a production of "Fidelio" with Jon Vickers and Hildegard Behrens the orchestra underwent a most miraculous transformation into a first class group of musicians.  I still consider the night I sat in the Palais Garnier to see Ozawa doing what he does best, one of the best musical experiences I have ever had.

Scherzer
#133 posted by
Scherzer
on Jan 16, 2014

Leonard Bernstein. He was the heart of the 20th century. Who else had his charm, charisma and chops? As a composer, he left us more good tunes in West Side Story than most symphonies. The vinyl of his Gershwin recordings ooze bathtub gin. Carved from the same marble as Karajan and Giulini, he was the ur maestro - erudite, commanding and profoundly human. His Young People's TV specials will accompany us into old age. As a pianist as he conducted the Mozart concertos you can almost hear Wolfgang, sitting beside him on the bench, humming along and turning the pages.Then consider how he put Mahler on the mid-century map - as a courtesy - genius to genius. Lennie it is.

Redwood farm
#134 posted by
Redwood farm
on Jan 16, 2014
I'm new to CBC Tempo, and do not have a favourite conductor. I do enjoy all of your programming, learning more all the time. Thanks
tilly
#135 posted by
tilly
on Jan 16, 2014

Alain Trudell: We are two elderly retired doctors and long-time fans of CBC Radio and Orchestra London.  Over the past 50 years, Orchestra London has been led by numerous conductors, none better than Alain Trudell, the current Maestro who is completing his three-year term.  Alain conducts the Orchestra with a passion that relates in loving terms to the Orchestra members and to his audiences.  His preconcert talks prepare his audience for the musical offerings and his enthusiastic presentations are infectious. With Alain's delightful Quebec accent, he is truly a great Canadian conductor, our favourite.

dr.judyrbi
#136 posted by
dr.judyrbi
on Jan 16, 2014

Valery Gergiev

In Feb. of 2007, my teenaged son suddenly had an extreme interest in classical music. It was a year that I took him to at least 20 concerts and many operas. 

The first event was the HD opera Eugene Onegin live broadcast from the Met. The music was mesmerizing. ValeryGergiev was conducting.

A few days later we coincidentally had tickets to see Gergiev at Roy Thompson Hall.We sat in the choir stall, facing Gergiev, himself.

His intense enthusiam was infectious. We felt like we were part of the orchestra. He could extract the best of each musician with what appeared to be an appreciation and respect for the musicians' ability to deliver the musical passages as he desired. I can only imagine what a privilege it must be to have him as a conductor. 

 

 

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