Festival at Carnegie Hall

5 Questions With Festival at Carnegie Hall Band and Orchestra conductor Frank Battisti

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In Heritage Performance’s new series, “Five Questions,” you will get to know our renowned music professionals a little bit better.

This week’s Five Questions features Frank Battisti, Band and Orchestra conductor in our Festival at Carnegie Hall program and Conductor Emeritus of the New England Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble. Mr. Battisti will conduct our Band and Orchestra events scheduled for March 23-26 and March 24-27 in 2016.

HP: Tell us about a music educator that had a big impact on you as a student.

FB: Dr. John Graves, my high school band director, was a wonderful person, musician and teacher. He was also a very encouraging and supportive person – a real gentleman who created many exciting musical experiences for me and my classmates.  He inspired me to want to become a music educator/band director. Frederick Fennell was also another influential person in my life.  He inspired me through his enthusiasm as a conductor and by his ideas concerning wind bands/ensembles. Warren Benson had a profound influence on me, first as a teacher and then a dear friend and colleague. He challenged me to grow in my knowledge about music; musical skills, abilities to create and love of poetry.

HP: How did it feel the first time you took the stage as a conductor at Carnegie Hall

FB: It was an awesome experience and a little scary!  I was thrilled to be in the hall and on the stage where many of the world’s great artists had come to make music.

HP: What advice do you have for students that want to have a career in music? 

FB: Practice, practice, practice!!  Study and listen to great artists and music!!  Thoroughly investigate all  opportunities that exist for musicians in performance and/or in teaching.

HP: What’s the last album you purchased? 

FB: Actually my last purchase included three albums: Beethoven – The Complete String Quartets(Julliard String Quartet); Maria Schneider Orchestra – Sky Blue; Osvaldo Golijov – La Pasion segun San Marcos.

HP: Who is your favorite composer of all time?  

FB: I do not have a favorite composer.  I love the music of many composers.  Included among them are Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Monteverdi, Stravinsky, Varese, Ives, Gershwin, Ellington, Copland, Sousa, Joplin, Piazzolla. The Beatles and the list goes on and on.  Great composers created brilliant and diverse kinds/styles of music.  I appreciate and enjoy all of them – they enrich my life!!

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