The photo above shows my advanced conducting class from 2021. We were discussing some of the difficulties with getting a decent conductor headshot — I mean, what d’ya do with a baton, after all? So, we decided to imitate some of the ones we’d seen for a group snap.
I started making memes for my conducting classes years ago to help relieve some of the pressure that falls on young conductors — mostly about physicality and “podium presence.” It is in that spirit that these memes are created: with tremendous love and respect for all my colleagues, many of whom I absolutely idolize. They are gorgeous, gifted, brave, and intrepid. It is true; however, that the conductor’s gestural vocabulary is fluid — constantly in motion from one temporal point to another in space. Therefore, still photographs of our gestures freeze us in strange poses with awkward facial expressions. It happens to all of us, so we might as well chuckle about it.
Here are some favorites: