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Maestro Matters
by Pamela Jay

With thirty years experience of playing with the BBC Philharmonic, Pamela Jay explores some of the difficulties faced by both sides of the podium in an intriguing and informative way. The book has contributions and insights from many conductors including Sir Edward Downes. If you experience the highs you are bound to find the lows. When all performers on stage are charged up together and all responding to the information sent by the conductor, then there is nothing like it in the world. Conversely, when you as a group are desperately trying to battle against an incoherent or indifferent conductor, then you feel that all the years of your training have been wasted. If the conductor appears to be not in control of the hundred minds in front of him, then the life and soul is taken from the performance - depression and frustration taking their place. As long as this is the exception then we can cope, but what if there is a lack of inspiration from the conductors of the future? How can we as players survive, mentally and physically? What on earth will the orchestras of the future have to look forward to? Their existence lies in the hands of so few!
"It is a moving book-one becomes aware of the extremely close camaraderie inside the orchestra, as well as being mightily impressed by the member's love for music in common. I only wish I had the opportunity to read this book before I ever conducted an orchestra! Every page made me smile with the pleasure of recognition-yes, that is exactly how it is!" SIR PETER MAXWELL DAVIES, Master of the Queen's Music.

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