by greycoopers

“He is special, the musicians explain, not merely because of his clarity of vision, authoritative analysis or the mysterious energy of his gestures, but rather because of the way he listens.  He appears to live the music, inviting them to live it with him.

Players need to believe conductors understand what they are doing, and that their individual efforts make a difference.  Conductors, in turn, need to trust their orchestras to do everything possible to make the music happen in the moment.  The currency of trust is listening, and one of the most interesting pictures to emerge from this book is that of the conductor as a kind of chief listener.  Hand gestures, whether the baton-traced polygons of the textbooks or the mysterious finger-flickerings of Mr. Gergiev and Mr. Abbado, are construed less as specific directions than as signs of a kind of ultra-responsive listening, a listening which feeds back into how the players hear each other.”

From The Economist June 23-29, 2012 under “Books and Arts”.  A review of “Music as Alchemy: Journeys with great conductors and their orchestras” by Tom Service.

Too bad that our business leaders generally don’t understand the importance of listening and communication.  Instead we have insecure prescriptive tut-tutting school ma’ams who perceive any feedback as a threat to their authority.  No wonder our corporations are such insipid and soulless places devoid of real and meaningful communication.