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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000253.txt from 1995/03

From: Laurence Liberson <hardreed@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: Hans Vonk...
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 1995 08:16:29 -0500

> Reply to: Hans Vonk...
>Larry wrote:
>"Hans Vonk is one terrific conductor! Not flashy, but an extremely solid
>musician and leader on the podium. He has been here several times over the
>last few years, and the orchestra always looks forward to having him
>here--which is more than can be said for most of the imposters!
>He is a Dutch gentleman and seems comfortable with a very wide range of
>repertoire--and he does it *all* well!"
>Yes, Larry, but where has he conducted before? A major orchestra like St.
>Louis doubtlessly demands somebody of stature and appreciable experience,
>especially in the interest of adequately filling the shoes of their departing
>master. I wouldn't put St. Louis on the same level as Chicago or San
>Francisco, but I've never even HEARD of Hans Vonk. Does anybody know more
>about him?

Now, just because Vonk hasn't done much in the US doesn't mean that he's an

He has done the bulk of his work in Europe, as has so many of today's
up-and-coming conductors (of course, he's hardly up-and-coming! Being
around 52-53 years old, he's already been around the block a few times!).
Many European conductors have chosen lately not to come to the US for one
reason or another. Anyway, Vonk has been Chief Conductor of the Cologne
Radio Symphony since 1990, is the Principal Guest Conductor of the
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and serves as the Chief Conductor of the
Dresden Staatskapelle (ask Herbert Blomstedt where *he* conducted!
Dresden!). Vonk is the first conductor since Karl Bohm to head both the the
Staatskapelle *and* the Dresden State Opera.

He has more experience than did Slatkin, actually, when he took over the
reins of St. Louis, I believe. Whether he'll be as successful is anyone's
guess! Finding the right chemistry between two diverse elements such as an
orchestra and a conductor most often ends up with an explosion, rather than
a satisfying compound!

BTW, do you know where these conductors were at or what they were doing
before they landed major American gigs:
von Dohnanyi

Most of them worked exclusively in Europe--that's where!

Larry Liberson
Detroit Symphony Orchestra

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