Leadership tips from a globe-trotting conductor

Leadership tips from a globe-trotting conductor

The conductor is the heart of an orchestra and a skilled maestro can, with a wave of his baton, lead some hundred individuals to come together in synchrony to make melodious music.

One such inspiring conductor is Lionel Bringuier, who boasts an impressive repertoire and recently helmed the Singapore Symphony Orchestra Gala Concert.

At just 32, he has performed with many orchestras around the world, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He was also the youngest assistant conductor of the LA Philharmonic when he was appointed in 2007.

Given his wealth of experience conducting orchestras – often with musicians older than he is – we asked Bringuier for tips on how to lead a team of talented individuals and have them come together to create something that sings and soars. Read on for his replies.

Trust is paramount
Trust is most important. When everyone trusts each other, things always work out. I started to conduct when I was 14, so the musicians were always older than me. But the orchestra always respects and trusts the conductor if they see that the conductor really knows the score.

Have a clear vision to give clear instructions
It is important to always have a clear idea of the sound you want. That way, you can communicate it clearly to the orchestra and help it achieve harmony.

Listen, then adapt
Tell the musicians what you want, listen to how they play, then make improvements. To me, a conductor is a musician among the other musicians in the orchestra, and we are all here to make music together.

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