Conductors are performers.
Being an American musician means being adventurous.
Extreme volume in music very often disguises a lack of actually important content.
I can't do pieces I only admire technically. I have to feel some direct contact with them.
Being a conductor is kind of a hybrid profession because most fundamentally, it is being someone who is a coach, a trainer, an editor, a director.
But still as compared to many, many orchestras in the world, I think you find a lot more new music and living composers on our programs than many other places.
But those musics do not address the larger kind of architecture in time that classical music does, whatever each one of us knows that classical music must mean.
They are representations of many shared hours of collaboration between us all. That's the real nature of the relationship the orchestra and I are trying to build.
When I first was conducting as guest conductor in Europe 25 years ago, I would propose doing American pieces and grudgingly it would be accepted from time to time.
I think music needs to be presented in a way so that kids can grasp songs, dances, simple music that's associated with some particular defining moment in human experience.