Leadership Lessons from a Conductor of Classical Music
As a conductor whose career has spanned over 50 years, James Conlon illuminates the profound leadership lessons that resonate in business, institutional, for-profit, and non-profit organizations. Conductors inspire, direct, listen and follow, lead and guide, simultaneously, all in the service of musical creativity. Mr. Conlon offers expert applications of these ideas to executives, co-workers, and companies navigating the future of a constantly changing world.
Building Unified Teams
In his role as a globally renowned conductor, James Conlon has led some of the most prestigious musical organizations in the world. Sharing stories of success (and failure) from more than 50 years of experience, Mr. Conlon offers insights about how to get a collective of highly diverse (and talented) individuals on the same page, to identify a common goal, and motivate the group to attain it.
Resurrecting Forbidden Music
Inspired by his impactful TEDx Talk on the subject, renowned conductor James Conlon shares the fascinating story of his work to resurrect the music that was forbidden by the Nazi regime. Jewish musicians and their music were repressed, and the effects are still with us today. Mr. Conlon’s personal journey started with a chance discovery on the radio and has expanded to broad efforts to bring a voluminous heritage of music to the public’s consciousness.
The Power of Creativity, For Everyone
In this riveting talk, renowned conductor James Conlon reveals the power of creativity – and how anyone can access this power in their work and life. Drawing on his internationally prestigious career in classical music, Mr. Conlon shares how any organization can adopt the successful strategies of a quality orchestra – to honor the great traditions of the past and innovate and embrace the future.
James Conlon, one of today’s most versatile and respected conductors, has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic, and choral repertoire. Since his 1974 debut with the New York Philharmonic, he has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra. Through worldwide touring, an extensive discography and videography, numerous writings, television appearances and guest speaking engagements, he is one of classical music’s most recognized and prolific figures. Mr. Conlon is Music Director of LA Opera, where he has led more performances than any other conductor in the company’s history, and Artistic Advisor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has been Principal Conductor of the Paris Opera; General Music Director of the City of Cologne, Germany, where he was Music Director of both the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and the Cologne Opera; Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (Holland); as well as Principal Conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra (Italy). He has served as Music Director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony; and is now Music Director Laureate of the Cincinnati May Festival, where he was Music Director for 37 years. As a guest conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, he has led more than 270 performances since his 1976 debut.
Mr. Conlon is an enthusiastic advocate of public scholarship and cultural institutions as forums for the exchange of ideas and inquiry into the role music plays in our shared humanity and civic life. At LA Opera, his pre-performance talks draw upon musicology, literary studies, history, and social sciences to contemplate the enduring power and relevance of opera and classical music. He also frequently appears throughout the country as a speaker on a variety of cultural and educational topics, and collaborates with universities, museums, and other cultural institutions, and works with scholars, practitioners, and community members across disciplines. In an effort to call attention to lesser-known works of composers silenced by the Nazi regime, Mr. Conlon has devoted himself to extensive programming of this music throughout Europe and North America. His work on behalf of silenced composers led to the creation of ORELFoundation.com, an invaluable resource on the topic for music lovers, students, musicians, and scholars; the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School; and a recent virtual TEDx Talk titled “Resurrecting Forbidden Music.” Among his numerous prizes are four Grammy® Awards for recordings with LA Opera. Mr. Conlon was named Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana by Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, and Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture. In 2002, he received France’s highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur from then-President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac.