Music: Five for the Future

American maestros preside over a vibrant orchestral scene

When the Cleveland Orchestra recently chose a new music director, it reached across the Atlantic to select Christoph von Dohnányi, a German of Hungarian descent who is head of the Hamburg State Opera. It is a familiar story. Once again a major U.S. conducting post has gone to a foreign-born musician. Where are all the Americans?

Ever since 1943, when Leonard Bernstein, then 25, became famous by stepping in for Bruno Walter with the New York Philharmonic, the musical world has been waiting—impatiently—for the arrival of the...

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