Sir Antonio Pappano discusses what it means to be a conductor, and his own personal style.
‘For me personally, I’ve always struggled with the physical elements of conducting, the gestures. I’ve got quite unorthodox gestures and a physical appearance when I conduct.
But I think you use what you’re given, from on high or whatever you believe, and you try to make that better. You try to make it better serve the music. At the end of the day, that’s what conducting is, you are serving the music. You are trying to honour this wonderfully complex piece of music, score, written in many many staves, many instruments, and to try to make this all become a whole. That’s what you’re doing throughout your career as a conductor, you’re learning how to put it all together in every sense, so that you find a unity between the drama of music, the lyricism of music, the rhythmic drive of music, between that and the atmosphere of music. And how it then communicates on to the musicians who have to play the notes, who can then transfer them to the audience.’