I wonder if choosing players by how they look would result in ageism, among other things. Would I be too old for this conductor? Of course Mick Jagger is older so …?
Orchestra Nova artistic director and conductor Jung-Ho Pak said he wants to pick and choose musicians for each concert based on their stage persona and how it matches with the music being presented.
“Bottom line is what happens on stage needs to be as electric as Mick Jagger on stage or Lady Gaga because that’s essentially who we’re competing against,” Pak explained.
Musicianship matters, he said, but in today’s environment, so does the ability to play with passion and emotion. Pak cited cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and violinist Joshua Bell as examples. “We have to be more human on stage and we need to work with musicians who can understand this, embrace this, and play in a way that is not being taught in conservatories these days.”
Pak said typically classical musicians are trained to blend in with other players and show little emotion. This style of play won’t cut it, claimed Pak, in the age of YouTube and Netflix, when audiences have so many entertainment options.
He believes the way to get audiences off the couch and into the concert hall is to have musicians “play with emotional abandon.”
… and the latest news is that Pak has resigned.