James Conlon, one of today’s most distinguished international conductors, introduces the listener to this troubling but fascinating story, shows how its effects are still with us today, and describes his personal journey that started with a chance discovery on the radio, through his efforts to bring a voluminous heritage of music to the public’s consciousness.
Produced and edited: Sophie Tabet
Director of Photography: Luisa Conlon
For more than 25 years, part of James Conlon’s artistic mission has included a deep devotion to the re-discovery, understanding, and performance of music by composers suppressed by the Nazi regime. He established The OREL Foundation (orelfoundation.org), an invaluable resource for music lovers, students, musicians, and scholars engaging with this subject, and now associated with the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. His vast discography and notable performances of neglected operas at LA Opera, where he has been Music Director since 2006, have garnered widespread praise. For his efforts, he has received such honors as the Roger E. Joseph Prize at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Vienna-based Zemlinsky Foundation Prize, and the Crystal Globe Award from the Anti-Defamation League.
Mr. Conlon has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra and in many of the world’s most important opera houses. He is one of classical music’s most recognized interpreters.
In addition to serving as Music Director of the Los Angeles Opera (since 2006) he was recently appointed Artistic Advisor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has been Principal Conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Torino (2016–2020), Principal Conductor of the Paris Opera (1995–2004), General Music Director of the City of Cologne (1989–2002), Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (1983-1991), Music Director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony (2005–2015), as well as the Cincinnati May Festival – for 37 years (1979–2016).
As a guest conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, he has led some 270 performances since his 1976 debut.
His frequent appearances, as a speaker on a variety of cultural and educational topics at universities, museums and other educational institutions throughout the country, are widely praised.
Mr. Conlon’s extensive discography and videography can be found on the Bridge, Capriccio, Decca, EMI, Erato, and Sony Classical labels. His recordings of LA Opera productions have received four Grammys.
Mr. Conlon holds four honorary doctorates and has received numerous other awards. He is a Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. In 2002, he received France’s highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur, personally inducted by then-President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac.
Learn more about James Conlon at jamesconlon.com.
#Schulhoff This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx