David Alan Miller: Define the Personalities of Great Orchestras

WHAT’S IN THIS VIDEO: The personalities of the great old orchestras had personality – players and conductors. Gigantic personalities gave orchestras their own personal stamp. Each orchestra has distinct personality. Here’s what the great orchestras were known for. Chicago, New York, Philadelphia… Over the years the level of play has gotten so much better. Personality is still essential. One of my players has a rich cabernet sound. Different conductors are obsessed with different things and these are what define personality.



  1. Rebecca says:

    As a flute player I’ve always noticed the differences between what people call someone that plays the flute. In this discussion they are called flutists, however, growing up I was always called a flautist. My instructors always referred to the different flautists that they taught.

    Is there a correct pronunciation?

  2. Isn’t it true, though, that “personality’ can get out of hand? Ultimately I believe the conductor and musicians must try to be true and faithful to the composer. I have a creeping suspicion that often times conductors try to stamp their personality on a work just for the sake of ‘making their mark’. What happens when there is a clash of personalities, say between the conductor and the musicians? How is that resolved? I think that makes a huge difference on what we, the listeners, ultimately hear.

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