Congratulations to Roberto Minczuk on 30 Years on the Podium!

Maestro, we celebrate you and thank you for your unparalleled musicianship and stalwart leadership. Here’s to many more years of music making!

NMPhil President & CEO Marian Tanau sat down with Music Director Roberto Minczuk to discuss his 30 years on the podium.

MT: Maestro, congratulations on your 30-year conducting career! It’s an amazing honor, and we are so fortunate to be among the many groups you have led.

RM: Thank you, Marian.

MT: So, I’d like to ask you some questions about your time in the field. I think our marvelous New Mexico Philharmonic audience would be interested in some facts about you that can’t be found in your bio. Would that be OK?

RM: Of course, ask away.

MT: Growing up, you were a talented hornist. What prompted you to make the leap into conducting?

RM: My father is a conductor. Out of his eight children, he chose me to be the conductor. I dutifully obeyed.

MT: With which orchestra did you make your conducting debut?

RM: The Ribeirão Preto Symphony in the State of São Paulo.

MT: Of the more than 130 orchestras you have conducted in your storied history, which are the most memorable?

RM: So many fond memories of so many orchestras and musicians. But if I had to choose the highlights, I would say: the New York, Los Angeles, Israel, Tokyo, London, Oslo, Helsinki, and Buenos Aires Philharmonics and the Cleveland, Philadelphia, National de France, Detroit, Houston, San Francisco, Dallas, BBC, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras. And of course, the New Mexico Philharmonic!

MT: Do you have a favorite or most memorable soloist story?

RM: A soloist once had a memory lapse in a concert and stopped playing. To try and help him find his place, I started singing his part in solfège, which thankfully worked, and he was able to begin playing again. The audience laughed, thinking it was rehearsed and part of the “show.” It was not.

MT: What was your scariest moment on the podium?

RM: My goodness, my scariest moment was when I was conducting the Elgar Cello Concerto at the Royal Concertgebouw. My heavy music stand started to fall, and I had to conduct the entire first movement holding the top of the stand up with my left leg.

MT: What was your funniest moment on the podium?

RM: I think my funniest story from the podium was when in the first concert of a two-concert cycle, my baton hit the music stand and fell to the ground. We conductors try to never let that happen! A musician graciously picked it up and handed it to me. On the second night, it incredibly happened again! But I had learned my lesson and had placed a spare baton in my jacket pocket. When the same musician went to grab the baton from the floor, I flashed him the spare, and the entire orchestra started to laugh.

MT: These are great stories! Maestro, thank you for your time, and once again, congratulations on 30 wonderful years of conducting.

RM: My pleasure.

Read More About Roberto Minczuk

Music Director Roberto Minczuk

In 2017, GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor Roberto Minczuk was appointed Music Director of the New Mexico Philharmonic and of the Theatro Municipal Orchestra of São Paulo. He is also Music Director Laureate of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (Canada) and Conductor Emeritus of the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro). In Calgary, he recently completed a 10-year tenure as Music Director, becoming the longest-running Music Director in the orchestra’s history.

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