The secret art of conducting

Conductors including Vanessa Scammell, Asher Fisch and Nicholas Braithwaite discuss their roles and their relationships with orchestras.
A grey-haired man in formal wear and glasses stands at the podium with both hands raised, a conductor's baton in his right hand. Members of the orchestra sit around him.

Anyone who has ever attended a classical concert has surely watched the conductor up there on the podium and wondered, ‘What do they actually do’?

Some conductors are mesmerising to watch, throwing their arms around with great physicality in a broad musical language; others are more subdued, seemingly conducting with a mere glance here and there and a subtle twitch of the baton.

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Dr Diana Carroll is a writer, speaker, and reviewer based in Adelaide. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Woman's Day, and B&T. Writing about the arts is one of her great passions.