As of this writing, and starting with next season, there will be few Americans leading the nation’s top twenty orchestras as music directors. Does it matter where someone is from when it comes to heading our largest musical institutions? This chapter is not about composers. That will be handled in another portion of the book.
Over the years, I have come to realize that until the late 1940s, most—but not all—of our orchestras were led by conductors from other lands. They were the ones who championed the music of this country and premiered so many of the pieces that have become standards.
What do you think? And is there still a difference in style as we continue into this century?