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Great Big Story: How to Conduct an Orchestra

Watch & Listen

Nobody is more responsible for the sound of an orchestra than its conductor. But what does a conductor do? For many people, even seasoned concertgoers, it’s not totally clear how a conductor can draw music out of the assembled musicians using nothing more than their hands and a baton – and how the same piece can sound different depending on who is leading it.

The storytellers at Great Big Story wanted to know how it all works. So they hooked up with LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl and asked him to walk them through his on-stage process and explain the impact he has on the way the music sounds. Watch below, and learn why there are as many versions of Beethoven’s Fifth as there are people who lead it.