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An Interview with Gerhard Samuel, October 14, 1969

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 20 min
Event Type: Interview Program Origin: KPFA

In an interview recorded on October 14, 1969, Charles Amirkhanian talks to conductor and composer Gerhard Samuel, about his decision to resign from the Oakland Symphony Orchestra after the completion of its 1970-71 season. The main reason offered by Samuel for his decision was the reluctance of the Symphony’s Board of Directors to allow guest conductors at some of their concerts. Such a decision prevented Samuel from pursuing opportunities to guest conduct himself with various orchestras, as well as restricting the amount of free time available for his own composing. Samuel also states that there were some patrons of the Oakland Symphony that expressed a dislike for some of his programming choices, particularly his strong support for contemporary composers. Samuel makes a strong case for the importance of providing an opportunity for works by living composers to be heard, pointing out that without exposing audiences to new music there was little hope for expanding the standard repertoire and preventing orchestral music from becoming moribund. Samuel does not display any signs of bitterness over his surprise decision, but does mention that he is looking forward to a more productive phase of his commendable career as a composer, conductor, and innovative concert programmer.

Genres:  20th Century Classical; Orchestral Music
Subject:  Samuel, Gerhard; Oakland Symphony Orchestra; 20th century classical; Orchestral music; Symphony orchestras; Conductors (Music)
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Samuel, Gerhard
Recording Date:  10/14/1969
First Broadcast Date:  10/14/1969
 
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