ASO Conductor David Sharp chats to us about what it’s like to be a conductor.
Why did you decide to become a conductor?
I’ve always loved music, and I’ve been playing the cello since I was little. Playing in an orchestra takes it to another level, and I have always liked the idea of being the “driver”. It can be scary stepping out in front of such a big group, but it is totally worth it.
What is your favourite thing about being a conductor?
Despite what some people might think, it is not that everyone has to do what you say! The sound from the podium where the conductor stands is so amazing, and being able to shape and direct that sound is pretty special.
What is the most difficult thing about your job?
You have to know the piece of music really well – not just the tune, but each instrument’s part. Sometimes a score might have parts for 20 or more instruments. Reading that all at the same time is a challenge.
What is your advice to kids who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Later on you might go to University to study conducting, where they will provide you with an orchestra to practice on. In the meantime I think you should listen to as much music as you can, especially live performances. Learn an instrument or take up singing, and make music with others. This is how you become a good musician, and that is the most important thing for conductors.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you at work?
I once conducted an outdoor concert at Monarto Zoo – it was a lovely venue, but at certain points the zoo’s wildlife became a bit rowdy. It was like the Carnival of the Animals, but with real animals!
David Sharp will be conducting ASO family show Space Race on Saturday 21 September