A Citizen’s Guide to Greece 2015


October 11, 2013

Citizen conductors

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Written by: DW

By David Wisner

The latest initiative from the group Improv Everywhere in New York: citizen conductors! What a great idea!

Here is the description from their website:

“For our latest mission, we put a Carnegie Hall orchestra in the middle of New York City and placed an empty podium in front of the musicians with a sign that read, “Conduct Us.” Random New Yorkers who accepted the challenge were given the opportunity to conduct this world-class orchestra. The orchestra responded to the conductors, altering their tempo and performance accordingly. This project was a collaboration with Carnegie Hall and Ensemble ACJW.”

I note the following description of the “audience” that gathered to watch the “performance” (my emphasis):

“A crowd gathered very quickly, with many staying to watch for nearly an hour. It was fun to watch new people join the crowd and see them slowly figure out what was happening, and that they could be next if they liked. There was never a formal line to participate, but people politely waited their turn behind others who had been there longer.”

Could we conceivably become better citizens as a result of such unusual experiences? Art in the service of the state?

Here is the clip:



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