Saturday, January 26, 2008
Lionel Bringuier
Lionel Bringuier and the concept for the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall were born in the same year. Bringuier was born in Nice, France, but a precocious passion for music would inexorably link him to the Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. At 21, he is the youngest conductor to lead an orchestra on the stage, one of the main venues of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Bringuier beat 150 applicants from around the world to become Assistant Conductor of the LAPhil. He applied when he was the assistant conductor of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and a winner of the prestigious Besancon Young Conductors Competition. Bringuier honed much of his career in the "City of Lights" -- starting when he was 5 years old, playing cello for the Countess of Paris.

Before snagging the position, Bringuier had never traveled to the United States, much less the "City of Angels." Now it is his home as he serves his two-year appointment, complete with an office featuring orange leather sofas, Esa-Pekka Salonen as a colleague, and his old friends Mozart and Strauss. Bringuier sums it up best when he says, "Age isn't important, music is."

Update: Because of scheduling difficulties, today's interview did not take place. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Your life must be very full. When do you have time to meet people your own age or to date? What about having a personal life separate from music?
Believe it or not, musicians have very full lives. Being a conductor of an orchestra is more likely to get him dates than deter it.

Actually, what I want to ask is whether or not he has trouble with people taking him seriously because of his age. At 21, you lose that elusive credibility and grand job history that other conductors have, especially since most of the musicians he'll be working with are older than him. I don't envy him the task, but considering his young age and brilliance I have no doubt that he was dream up some engaging and innovative ways to play the music we so love.
What words of advice do you offer for young aspiring musicians?
What do you see as the future for concert music in 20 years or more? Will the repertoire always be classics of the past? If not, how will it have to change to stay vital to a public that is exposed to more media influences?
Do you feel that America should include music as a primary part of education, not as a secondary? Why do you feel that music is such an important part of education? What would you suggest to help foster the Fine Arts Programs in this country; how can we do more?
I would like to know what drives him, what motivated him, at such a young age to succeed?
Music is obviously of great importance to you. Did you attend public schooling in France and, if so, what role does music play in the education of your country? I ask you this question because, as a Massachusetts Public School Teacher of many years, I am witnessing the Arts disappearing as part of our future musicians education.
Thank you for your time.
What suggestions do you have to keep a small town orchestra alive? The Brantford Symphony Orchestra, (Ontario, Canada), is a per-service professional symphony that is in dire financial straights. How do we get the message out to the general public that symphonies are important, even necessary to all communities, not just the big metropolitan centres? What repertoire "keeps then in the seats", as it were?
I just wanted to say thanks for energizing a new generation of classical music lovers!
What do you do all day? I'm not involved in music, so I am not familiar with what would keep you busy.
With music being such a driving force in your life, what lead you to choose conducting as opposed to sticking to playing in an orchestra?
As a mother of young musically inclined children, I face some criticism for "not allowing my child to be a child" due to their musical studies.

In your opinion, do you feel like you "missed out on your childhhood"? What would you say to these people?
Who are your favorite composers to conduct, and who do you think are the most challenging?
As the generation of older world renowned conductors such as Lorin Maazel and Claudio Abbado start to step away from the classical music scene, how do you see yourself as an acomplished young conductor stepping into their shoes to keep
the art of classical music alive ?
How did you transition from playing the cello to becoming a conductor? What do you think you will you do next?

What type of rituals do you have when preparing for a concert?
What composer do you think mainstream America needs more exposure to? Why?
I would like to know how you started this all? Did you take music classes when you were young and developed your skills or you just had it in you?
He couldn't have said it any better, "Age isn't important, music is"
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