Conductors: Mellowing Rebel

Hovering over the open-air podium with his arms outstretched, the white-bearded, white-jacketed conductor looked like a snowy egret about to flap off into the fading sunset. Instead, he flew into Beethoven's Sixth Symphony, his baton carving the air, his left hand kneading a softly glowing tone from the strings. In Copland's Quiet City, he moved with the sure, deft strokes of a tailor stitching a hem, weaving the complex patterns into a taut whole. The interpretations, typically, were masterpieces of lucidity and logic, and at concert's end the audience at Stanford University awarded a resounding ovation to Geneva's Ernest...

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