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Title: The incomplete conductor : theorizing the conductor's role in orchestral interpretation in the light of shared leadership practices
Author: Lewis, Leslie Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 9696
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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The aim of this thesis is to explore and chart the territory of the performative aspects of orchestral leadership in both theory and practice, and by so doing to expand existing notions of the modern conductor's role while at the same time problematizing our current conceptualization of interpretation. Throughout the study I argue for the codeterminacy of leadership and interpretation, and I explore the implications of this in the light of the shared thinking and memory processes that underlie the development of both conducted and unconducted orchestral performance. The thesis begins by challenging the notion of 'the compleat conductor', as exemplified by Gunther Schuller in his eponymous text. After reviewing the multiple relationships that exist between score, orchestra, and conductor, I propose that a socially-distributed, rather than projective, conception of both leadership and interpretation more accurately portrays the realities of orchestral performance. I explore these realities by drawing upon an extensive fieldwork project with Britten Sinfonia, a Cambridge-based chamber orchestra with a diverse repertoire and a dynamic approach to leadership, i.e. sometimes being led from the violin, other times being led by soloists and conductors. The [mal part of the study focuses again on the modern conductor by theorizing the conductor's possible functions within the 'orchestral network'. This is accomplished through mapping Ekman and Friesen's seminal categorization of non-verbal communication onto the neo-Vygotskian frameworks of 'scaffolding' and 'assisted performance'. I finish by exploring how, even when leadership functions are highly distributed across an orchestra, an incomplete conductor may still have a role to play in performance through the cognitive structuring of musical material and even of creativity itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: conducting ; interpretation ; britten sinfonia