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Ever since he was a little boy, Yannick Nézet-Séguin knew he wanted to be a conductor. He likens the feeling to something "almost like a religious call." "Making music in the group is what animates me," he says.
Now 44, Nézet-Séguin is the music director of New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, two of America's most storied musical institutions.
Conductor James Levine is known for bringing out the best in musicians and ensembles. Here, he reflects on his 40-year tenure with the Metropolitan Opera, his life in music and back troubles that recently led him to step down as the musical director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Tuckwell doesn't see his shift from French horn performance to orchestra conducting as a career change -- it's all music to him. He joins Fresh Air to talk about his experiences as a soloist and working with other conductors.
Waart specializes in 20th century classical music, and leads the Minnesota Orchestra. He first established himself in the Netherlands before moving to the United States. Wart joins Fresh Air to discuss the differences between American and European orchestra management, and the need for more adventurous programming.
Conductor Roger Norrington seeks to recreate the sound of classical pieces -- particularly by Beethoven -- as they were originally performed. His orchestras plays period instruments; Norrington emphasizes the dynamics and tempos that were written in the scores -- markings often ignored by other conductors.