The young australian conductor daniel carter is the third contender to succeed roland kluttig as general music director at the landestheater. In an interview, the 30-year-old reveals why he became a conductor and what appeals to him about the job in coburg.
What appeals to you about the job in coburg??
Daniel carter: coburg is a medium sized house – and from freiburg i already have experience with a medium sized house. But it radiates more than other houses of this rough. The most blatant example of this is the guest appearance in london this year. Besides, roland kluttig is a conductor you just know.
How did you get into music?
There are no musicians in my family. But i was already bugging my parents at the age of three with the wish: i want to learn the piano. About my 4. I finally got my first piano lesson for my 50th birthday. Later i studied composition, but actually i was always a kind of omnivore musically.
Why did you become a conductor?? Was there a real key experience for you??
As a teenager i was a stravinsky freak and at the age of 13 or 14 i saw that the opera in australia was called "rake’s progress performing by stravinsky. Because my parents didn’t want to go to the opera, I went alone. I didn’t know anything about the opera, I had no idea what I was in for. I went to the opera in my sports clothes after school – it was the premiere. I sabbed then with my sportswear between people in tuxedos. That evening i experienced the conductor and saw how as a conductor, especially in opera, you are allowed to simply tell stories. That night I knew: this is what I want to do. That this guy in front is allowed to do everything to tell the spectators a story – that’s really exciting. I love conducting opera.
What do you think makes a good conductor??
A good conductor is someone who can carry people along – both in the audience and on the stage. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is perfect together, but that you really have the feeling, in the singing ensemble and in the orchestra, that we all have the same goal. It’s easy in the evening, when we all have the same goal.
You have never conducted in coburg before. What is important when you first meet an orchestra that you don’t know yet??
I just try to be honest about the whole thing and be myself. There’s no point in pretending. It is much better to simply say: this is who I am, this is how I work. If the orchestra likes it, it’s great already, if the orchestra doesn’t like it, it’s better if we’re all honest with each other. One should not make a show.
At the symphony concerts on sunday and monday, you conduct works by benjamin britten and ludwig van beethoven. How does britten’s symphony for cello and orchestra fit with beethoven’s pastorale??
I really had to think about this for a long time. Britten is quite strict in form in this piece. Beethoven’s 6. Symphony, on the other hand, is probably his freest symphony, in terms of form, but also in terms of the way it is composed. If you hoard everything together, you claim that you hoard a melody. But actually no single instrument plays a continuous melody.
In the advertisement for the GMD position in coburg, the topic of music education was explicitly mentioned. What experience have you already gained in this area??
In this respect I already have a lot of experience. At the beginning of my career i conducted a lot of music education concerts with the sidney symphony orchestra – those were my first experiences as a professional conductor. These were concerts for different age groups, in one concert there were children from four to six years old, in the next from seven to nine years old and so on – the concert was played several times a day for different age groups.
What is your general attitude towards the aging of the classical music audience?? What can we do against this aging??
You have to approach the people. You can’t expect people to come to the theater just because the theater building is there on the castle square. You have to offer something, you have to go to the schools with the musicians. I’m not stupid enough to think that everyone has to be interested in opera. But I think it is interesting for more people than you think. Opera is not a snobbish thing. It’s great to hear people sing, it’s great to experience stories. You have to show people that we in the theater are just normal people – maybe a little crazy, but actually just normal people you can meet on the street. We do not sit in a castle and say: if you are not a millionaire, please do not come.
What are your first impressions of coburg??
I have seen a little of the city center. What I have seen so far is really beautiful. The time on sunday and monday, when I have only evening concerts, I will use the time to walk around the city a bit.
This is how the coburg GMD search continues
Daniel carter has been kapellmeister at the deutsche oper berlin since the 2019/2020 season and conducts numerous performances there, including "the magic float, "les contes d "hoffmann and "il barbiere di siviglia".
From the 2015/2016 to 2018/2019 season, the australian conductor was principal conductor at the freiburg theater, where he conducted a wide repertoire of operas – including several world premieres – and concerts. In recent seasons, he has made his debut at the koln opera, the munich chamber orchestra, the trier theater, the aalto-musiktheater essen, and has once again conducted the queensland symphony orchestra and the academy of the bayerischer rundfunk symphony orchestra. From 2013 to 2015 daniel carter, who studied composition and piano at the university of melbourne and won the brian stacey award in 2012, was in charge of the orchestra, a prize for up-and-coming australian conductors, was engaged at the hamburg state opera, first as correpetitor and then as conductor and musical assistant to the general music director simone young. GMD search three candidates apply to succeed roland kluttig as general music director at the landestheater coburg. Daniel carter conducts the concertino on 16. November (11 o’clock) and the symphony concerts on 17. November (6 pm) and 18. November (8 pm). Harish shankar conducts "carmen on 28. November, moritz gnann conducts on 14. December the concertino (11 a.M.) and on 15. December (6 pm) and on 16. December (20h) the symphony concert. Advance tickets available at the tageblatt office.