Saturday, 20th April 2019


In an orchestra, the conductor is the man or woman who leads and directs live musical performances, aiming to achieve correct timing, rhythm, harmony and tempo between musicians or a choir. A conductor makes the creative decisions associated with a live performance, and is present in most public instrumental performances.

Conductors work with a group of musicians, either of the same type or with a whole ensemble of different instruments and singers. It is their responsibility to interpret a piece of music and to get the musicians to perform it in a certain style and to a certain quality. This requires conductors to lead many rehearsals in addition to public performances.

Tasks of a conductor would involve the following:

  • Setting the pace of a musical performance
  • Ensuring that everyone plays or sings the right notes at the correct tempo
  • Interpreting the musical score
  • Bring together instruments and voices
  • Lead rehearsals in preparation for the performance
  • Travelling around with orchestras to different events
  • Studying different music for inspiration and knowledge

Conductors can work for all different types of musical institutions and within many genres of music. Some conductors may be involved in conducting music for recording or filming, so could work for record labels or recording soundtracks for film or television.

When piecing together an orchestra or a group of musicians, a conductor will usually oversee auditions as he or she will know exactly the style and calibre of musician that is needed.

In cases where orchestras travel between town or cities to perform, and depending on the size of the outfit, some conductors may be tasked with organising venues, ensuring appropriate promotion of upcoming events and some organisational duties on the day of the performance itself. Their responsibilities often span administration and management.