John Georgiadis, who was concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra in two periods from 1965-1979, has now published his autobiography Bow to Baton, a fascinating story about the musical life in general and about the one in London in particular, at that time. This means, of course, that the memories include conductors from the past which will interest above all those readers old enough to have known personalities like André Previn, Thomas Beecham, Malcolm Sargent, Colin Davis, Leonard Bernstein (Worst Side Story), Sergiu Celibidache, Jascha Horenstein, George Szell, Eugene Ormandy (The Thickest Skin), George Solti (The Screaming Skull), Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf (Much Ado About Nothing), and many more.

In those memories Georgiadis is very critical when it comes to describe the character of conductors, their talent, their charisma or their technique. For some conductors the text is devastating, the best example being André Previn. But like the author explains: « It would be fair to say that not all good conductors had good beats and, vice versa, not all those conductors who had respectable beats were good conductors. Personality and presence would often enable a good man to produce excellent results, despite inadequacies in the baton department, but whereas a good beater might be able to achieve performances with high quality ensemble nothing would hide the emptiness of lack of true musicianship. »

The most interesting part of the book is all the information about the functioning of an orchestra. A lot of other recollections about the violinist’s various activities, including conducting and recording complete this autobiography spanning a period of 60 years.

So this is an extremely interesting book, well written, fluent and never boring, very personal and very honest.

Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1727426649
ISBN-13: 978-1727426649

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