Orchestras: A Leader of Equals

Conductor William Steinberg is a threat to American musical tradition. For one thing, he is downright chummy with his Pittsburgh Symphony musicians. For another, he blatantly delights in performing "the music nobody wants to play, nobody wants to conduct and nobody wants to hear." The traditional image of the success ful symphony conductor is a shaggy-haired despot who rules with an iron fist and remains disdainfully aloof at all times. But Steinberg treats his musicians with courtesy and respect, regales them with a rich sense of humor, rides in the bus with...

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