[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★★]
DUTCH CONDUCTOR NAMED DIRECTOR OF NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC
(P1) The New York Philharmonic ORCHESTRA named the Dutch CONDUCTOR Jaap van Zweden as its next music director.
(P2) The 55-year-old, who now leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, will take the HELM of the most PRESTIGIOUS North American orchestra starting with the 2018-19 season.
(P3) Van Zweden said it took him “one minute” to decide to accept the offer and described New York as the “center of the world” for music.
(P4) Van Zweden follows the RETIRING Alan Gilbert, an American who has pursued both classic and modern works and has been active in trying to expand the Philharmonic’s audience.
(P5) The Dutch conductor will become the 26th music director of the New York Philharmonic, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF earlier greats such as Gustav Mahler, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez and Kurt Masur.
(P6) Van Zweden owes his conducting career IN NO SMALL PART to Leonard Bernstein.
(P7) As a violinist and CHILD PRODIGY, Van Zweden at age 18 became the youngest CONCERTMASTER of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.
(P8) Bernstein was conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra on a tour of Europe in the late 1980s when the LEGENDARY MAESTRO handed the BATON to Van Zweden, despite the violinist’s PROTESTS that he had never conducted.
(P9) “Bernstein said afterward, ‘That was pretty bad, but I saw POTENTIAL there and I would really like you to take it very seriously,’” Van Zweden said.
(P10) Van Zweden has earned a REPUTATION as an EXACTING conductor able to deliver excellent performances of classic REPERTOIRE by the great composers such as Beethoven, Mahler, and Mozart, as well as modern composers.
(P11) “As both a strong musician and leader, Jaap brings energy and electricity that mirror our hometown, the great city of New York,” said the Philharmonic’s president, Matthew VanBesien.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Do you play a musical instrument?
- Have you ever been to an orchestra concert?
- What does a conductor do?
- “Exacting” is another way of saying “difficult to work for.” Have you ever had an exacting boss?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Follow in the footsteps of
- In no small part
- Child prodigy