All the media coverage on the retirement of Glenn Dicterow as our Concertmaster is giving us a look not only at the man, but an unusually candid peek into the job he’s held, magnificently, for 34 years.
Yesterday's All Things Considered story in particular focused on the chair's role as diplomat and politician.
A big part of his job, he said, has been to "make peace," Dicterow revealed, adding: "Everyone needs to get along to make gorgeous music. That's the bottom line."
That was hard during the Orchestra's "cantankerous" years when he started, he said, recalling some "pushing and shoving matches." Now, with a more diverse roster that's more than half women, it's easier, he added.
In his own rich article in today's New York Times, Michael Cooper drew yet more colorful memories and insights from and about Glenn, including about being a diplomat between guest conductors and the Orchestra:
Mr. Dicterow recalled a rehearsal for an oratorio that took nearly an hour to get through the opening bars, as the conductor tried to coax more of a period sound out of the orchestra, which is better known for sounding brash than Baroque. “You just have to try to save it,” he said. “I think that’s what a great concertmaster needs to do. He needs to mediate, to be a secretary of state.”
Good stuff. Follow the links above to hear/read more.
Learn about New York Philharmonic Presents: The Glenn Dicterow Collection