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  You are in: Home > Musicology > Maestro  

Conductor or Metro-gnome?

Myer Fredman

Myer Fredman studied at Dartington Hall and in London with Peter Gellhorn, Vilem Tausky, Sir Adrian Boult, and was Assistant conductor to Otto Klemperer, Sir John Pritchard and Sir Charles Mackerras. Among his many international musical engagements he was: Conductor at the Glyndebourne Festival, 1963–74; Initial Musical Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera, 1968–74; Musical Director, State Opera of South Australia, 1974–80; Conductor and Artistic Associate with The Australian Opera, 1983–98. The Italian Government awarded Maestro Fredman a medal “Per Servizio della Musica e Cultura Italiana”. He has conducted premiere recordings of symphonies by Arnold Bax and Havergal Brian with the LPO as well as CDs of music by Britten and Delius.


This book explains what is actually involved in being a conductor and unravels some of the mystique that surrounds this intensely public profession. The author, who has worked with orchestras and opera companies all over the world, writes about all aspects of the art and craft, and discusses how a career can progress and is the result of the observation of many conductors in action.

The Craft that precedes Art sets out the musicianship requirements and physical gestures that have to be subconsciously embedded during formal training.
Roads to the rostrum covers the differing needs of a permanent or a guest contract, the pitfalls of building a programme and relationships, be they with the orchestra’s leader, soloists, composers, the audience or the critics.
In the theatre is about conducting for opera and dance as distinct from concert conducting, and the process of preparing opera for performance.
Janus on the podium is a resumé of how conductors came into being and how they evolved into the powerful figures they are today.
A pilgrim’s progress describes the author’s experience from his student days, to London, Glyndebourne and Australia as an example of how a career may unfold.
The Index and Glossary of Terms provides easy to understand explanations of tempo indications, the numerous dance styles, symphonic poems, etc.

Written in non-technical language, this book is essential reading for all music lovers, as well as professional aspiring maestri.

More info at


The Craft that Precedes Art

Hearing is believing!
Scoring points
Baton, bludgeon or paintbrush?

Roads to the Rostrum
Five minutes or a lifetime?
In the driver’s seat
Selecting a Musical Director
Have baton will travel
Le chef d’orchestre
Pre-rehearsal rehearsal
Facing the inevitable
Close encounters
Applause, the audience and other critics
The metro-gnome: Conductor, Maestro

In the Theatre
The operatic microcosm
The General Manager
The Music Director
The Singer
Opera production
The baton in the pit

Janus on the Podium
At the crossroads

A Personal Pilgrim’s Progress
The wand of youth
Cockaigne calling
Sojurn in Sussex
The Athens of the South
A new life begins
Coming full circle

Table of equivalent note values
How fast is slow?
Dancing on the rostrum
What’s in a name?
What does . . . mean?

Sources of quotations
Further books of interest

Reviews to follow


Publication Details

Paperback ISBN:
Page Extent / Format:
112 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Release Date:
October 2005
  Illustrated:   No
Paperback Price:
£13.95 / $24.95

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