PT106: "Technique Precedes Music-Making," with David Itkin


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David Itkin joins us this week on Podium Time. Maestro Itkin is the Director of Orchestras at the University of North Texas, Music Director of the Abilene Philharmonic, and Conductor Laureate of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Today we discuss the stories behind his first book, Conducting Concerti, and why it’s critical to learn how to accompany a soloist well. We also discuss the many drawbacks of focusing your study on just musicality or conducting technique. Finally, David gives us a sneak peek of his new book planned for 2022. The book features a curriculum for learning and practicing crucial conducting excerpts.

Today we discuss:

  • Why David Itkin wrote a book about Conducting Concerti, and why what we’re really good at is often what we used to be really bad at. (05:09)
  • Navigating the psychology of preparing a concerto with the soloist and orchestra. (09:43)
  • The most common issues that David Itkin has to fix with workshop participants, and how to be prepared to get the most out of your session with a conducting teacher and ensemble. (19:44)
  • How the conducting program at UNT is designed to prepare a conductor to enter the professional world by including preparation for Pops and Education concerts for conducting students. (33:30)
  • A conducting workshop between two covers: A sneak peek of David Itkin’s new book of advanced musical and technical issues in the orchestral repertoire, including a reduction of each example for use in the classroom. (42:38)
  • Hidden Gems and Final Advice. (56:07)

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