LAST week i went to meet christoph eschenbach, the conductor/pianist who's been part of one of the nastiest divorces in the classical music world during a strained tenure at the philadelphia orchestra.
here is the way my colleague mark swed described him: "Thin and erect, with shaved head and large cranium, dressed in avant-garde sleek black shirt and slacks, he looked like some inscrutable creature of advanced intelligence out of the future."
he was an imposing, very germanic guy, you could say, but one of the most culturally curious people i've ever interviewed, and he loosened up when we started talking about rilke. he's the kind of guy so in love with music it literally wakes him up at night.
HERE is my story in today's LAT.
looking forward to seeing eschenbach play schubert (d.960!) at disney hall tonight... he's also conducting a program of mozart and bruckner this weekend. those of you in DC can count on him taking over as music director at the National Symphony -- which he has pledged to bring into the 21st c. -- in 2010.
Addendum: here is the review, not by me, of last night's dvorak and schubert concert.
Photo credit: christoph-eschenbach.com