Can I get a recording of that?
On second thought


Interesting email this morning from Gregory Ruffer, a conductor and doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dear Conductors Guild Member:

I am a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, where I am completing my dissertation research under the advisment of Dr. Hal Abeles. The working title of my dissertation is, "The Sinister Conductor: Preceptions and Practices of University Conducting Instructors Toward Left-Handed Students." 

One portion of my research involves surveying conductors about their work with left-handed people. I would be most appreciative if you could take 15 minutes of your time to complete my survey. Your input will assure that the data in my dissertation is representative of the largest possible population. Please click on this link to complete the survey:

I'm left handed, and for a while conducted with my baton in my left hand. Some musicians noticed right away, but most didn't notice at all. Many years ago I attended a conducting workshop with Jorge Mester (fantastic teacher) and he encouraged the lefties among us to place the baton in our left hands. The results were definitely noticable, and the musicians in the orchestra noted a difference as well - that our gestures were more natural and easier to follow. Try brushing your teeth or eating with you're non-dominant hand and you'll get the idea.

In the end, though, I feel that the stigma against left-handed conductors is too great, and it's simply not a battle worth fighting. The survey is interesting, though, and you should take it.

Pavvo Berglund, prominent left-handed Finn, led a fantastic Schubert Great C Major with the San Francisco Symphony many years ago.


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