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Also available as a podcast.
During the 35-year period that I have worked in musical theater, I have encountered a few conductors who carried forth their responsibilities with not only great talent and integrity but also created a positive feeling within the orchestra and cast. The three gentlemen interviewed here represent that type of individual and this interview provides great insight into the conductor’s world. While their backgrounds are varied, they have all succeeded in finding a way to bring forth the best results and have a good time.
I first met David Chase during the run of Damn Yankees in 1994 when he took over conducting the show shortly after it opened. He made going to work every night a joy and was respected by everyone in the band and cast. He gave each musician every cue, every night!
I met Constantine Kitsopoulos while subbing at the show Cyrano-The Musical. This superb conductor guided you through all solo passages and made a demanding score and hard book simple and fun. It was impossible to miss! Since then, we have also encountered one another in educational scenarios where he demonstrates the same affinity for working with students as professionals.
Charlie Alterman is a more recent acquaintance who I had the pleasure of working with on the recent run of Pippin on Broadway. Where are you going to meet a conductor who can laugh with you when you make a mistake (mistakes in my case) while still conducting; or is willing to talk to everyone in the band as equals and go have a drink with you after a show; or is genuinely excited for you when you request a leave of absence to travel across country? Charlie is that type of mensch and a wonderful musician to boot. I hope everyone viewing this video has the opportunity to work with all of these artists.