What are your earliest musical memories?

Probably around the age of three, my parents took me to see a symphony concert for the first time. I couldn’t tell you the program, much less the conductor, but I remember at that moment I completely fell in love with the sound of the orchestra – and also decided that I liked the “long-slidey-thing” the most. It remains my favourite song, and playing the trombone helped me appreciate early on all the wonderful things going on in an orchestra when you take the time to listen!

Thaddeus Huang Thaddeus Huang

Which conductors have most inspired you?

I own just two new, sealed vinyls: both are Carlos Kleiber, conducting Beethoven’s Seventh and Brahms’ Fourth. They are so timeless, so true, so real. And I’m sure many conductors admire (or begrudgingly acknowledge – we are an opinionated bunch) how much his work epitomises what we do. I’m always searching for new, subtle, unexpected ways to express in my conducting, and frequently marvel at how Abbado, Gatti, and Gergiev all have ways of creating spontaneous, surprising turns in their performances. Now I just need a record player for those vinyls!

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