Swiss conductor Mario Venzago has served as music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra since 2002, following several prestigious music directorships in Europe. Maestro Venzago is a guest conductor for the Indiana University Summer Music Festival 2009 Orchestra.
WFIU's George Walker talked to the maestro about conducting. First, why does he use a baton?
"I've just always used a baton. I know that there are conductors who don't, but for me it's part of the tradition of the conductor. For me the right hand with the baton is the organizer. It maps out the structure for the orchestra. The baton offers much more precision and deftness than an open hand."
OK, but Maestro what about the left hand. What's it doing?
"Ah, the left hand is the heart. That's where the feeling the human connections are expressed. It's a partner with the right hand. Actually, I've had some injuries to my right arm and so if anything I'm a bit less the organizer and more of the heart."
Thank you Maestro.
"George, you know no one ever asked me quite these questions. Thank you."