Conductor Domingo Hindoyan is one of the current participants in the International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation, which culminates in a concert with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 13 April 2012. Alongside the other two young conductors, Thomas Blunt and Ward Stare, Domingo will conduct the Orchestra in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with soloist John Lill, and Julian Anderson’s Past Hymns.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
My father was a violin player and the executive director of the Orquesta Sinfonica Venezuela in the 80s. I used to attend my father’s concerts every Sunday and these experiences are certainly among since my earliest musical memories.
What was it that first attracted you to the conducting profession?
During these same concerts, I have been told that as a 4-year-old I would stand in the aisle of the concert hall and imitate the conductor during the concert as I was fascinated by this role. Later on, as an orchestral player, my initial fascination and curiosity about this profession increased enormously.
For you, who are the most exciting conductors working today? Who has inspired you the most?
For me Daniel Barenboim has been very important and inspiring, also Claudio Abbado whom I met in Venezuela, and Bernard Haitink.
How have you benefited from working with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic?
First class orchestras are sophisticate, sensitive, with a lot of personality; at the same time very flexible and responsive, therefore for a conductor it is very demanding. It is like a good Stradivarius or a Ferrari, you need to know how to play them or drive them, being precise, knowing how to impose yourself or just letting them play. It is very complex. I am trying to achieve that.
Do conductors put in ‘practice time’ like orchestral players? How do you prepare for concerts?
I spend a lot of time studying my scores. This is how I prepare for concerts: studying, analyzing, discovering, searching for reasons, asking questions, trying to find the most truthful answers. I also prepare the rehearsals and anticipate potential problems as much as I can, but it is impossible without the orchestra.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
When I did a three hour rehearsal on Alban Berg’s Lulu Suite, with Claudio Abbado sitting next to me with the score. The rehearsal was very useful.
Which aspect of conducting do you find the most challenging?
The perfect relation, coherence and harmony between conception, gesture and the final sound.
What advice would you give to aspiring conductors?
Attend rehearsals of experienced conductors and at the same time try to build their own identity.
Aside from conducting, what do you do in your spare time?
I love watching football, I am a Real Madrid fan, and this winter I picked up skiing while I was working on an opera in Austria. I find the peacefulness and pure beauty of the mountains very inspiring.
Do you get a lot of fan mail?
After concerts I receive some on Facebook. It is quite fun!
What’s your favourite film? (and film score?)
If you could have a conversation with any composer from history, who would you choose?
It is quite recent, but I would love to meet Leonard Bernstein.