Birge's Picks

Let us now praise famous conductors!

Dale Warland is a Minnesota based choral composer.Courtesy of artist

March 07, 2022

With apologies to Ecclesiasticus and James Agee for borrowing that line, this is an amazing week to acknowledge three great conductors.

Dale Warland’s choral legacy — and his 90th birthday! — is celebrated by The Singers at Orchestra Hall this Sunday. It’s a program filled with music near and dear to Dale’s heart. He always loved premiering new music. Look for a new work by Tim Takach, tributes from special guests and a Dale Warland Singers Alumni Choir. You’ll hear the concert broadcast live on YourClassical MPR, hosted by Dale Warland Singers alum Steve Staruch.

Marin Alsop blazed a trail for women conductors, and I was excited to learn about a new documentary about her career. It got a nice review in the New York Times, but didn’t have any screenings lined for Minnesota. But wait, PBS to the rescue! Look for The Conductor on Great Performances on March 25.

If that whets your appetite for more conductor documentaries, ¡Viva Maestro! follows Gustavo Dudamel through his myriad projects, from working with kids via El Sistema to conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In select US theaters on April 8, then on Amazon and Apple TV May 24. Meanwhile, enjoy the trailer.