Conductors: Herr Doktor

"I am a completely independent man," declares German Conductor Hermann Scherchen. "I do not have to conduct works I don't like." And he doesn't. In fact, for 35 years, Scherchen repeatedly refused invitations to conduct in the U.S. because the programs offered were too conventional for his tastes. "There is an extraordinary prejudice in America," he said, "to do works of commercial interest. Beethoven's 'Eroica,' Tchaikovsky's 'Pathetique' —fine music, but I've done them before. I desire to do things of special interest."

Finally, at the age of 73, Scherchen has come to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!