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I ishould like to support "Fair Play" in his contention that, "if, as has happened, a pianist comes here with an established position as conductor, why not use him?" To my certain knowledge there is only one pianist in the Dominion to-day who answers to this description. Many qualified to judge consider him to be one of the finest pianists that ever has come here. He also had an established position as conductor of an overseas symphony orchestra before coming to New Zealand. This musician, however, has the misfortune to be a foreigner awaiting his naturalisation papers andls debarred from broadcasting—and there is no orchestra for him to conduct. Orchestral circles here know from, experience that, whilst a musician may be quite a competent pianist, he may not have the gift of inspiring an orchestra as a conductor. It ( is said that such a pianist-conductor a few years ago ventured across the Tasman to conduct an Australian orchestra. Neville Cardus, the English critic, saw him perform. Mr. Cardus was not impressed. He wrote somewhat in this strain: "Conductors may be divided into two classes— those who keep the score in their heads, and others who keep their heads in the score. Mr. Blank comes under the second category." If ever we do have a permanent symphony orchestra here it is to be hoped that we secure someone who conducts with the score in his head. Dr. Sargent, who, incidentally, once studied the piano under Moiseiwitsch, is not the only conductor of note to make suggestions about an orchestra for New Zealand. About seven years ago there appeared in this paper a scheme promulgated by Mr. Antal Dorati, then conductor of the Ballet Russe and later of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Dorati not only suggested how the personnel of the combination might be obtained, but also how the orchestra could be operated and financed. Like Dr. Sargent, he, too, offered his services, if needed, to initiate the project. O.A.W.

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Bibliographic details

PIANISTS AND CONDUCTORS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 175, 26 July 1945

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PIANISTS AND CONDUCTORS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 175, 26 July 1945