The cheesy headline 'Conducting his life with brio' does not bode well, and the quote above is just about the most illuminating comment in a not very illuminating full page profile of Daniel Harding in today's Observer which draws too heavily on press releases and anecdotes. I have been an admirer of the 32 year old Harding since hearing his revelatory 1999 CD of Beethoven Overtures recorded with the Bremen Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, and tonight (July 30) he conducts a gala concert in Salzburg's Grosses Festspielhaus, with a roster of top-class singers, including Rene Pape, Anna Netrebko and Thomas Hampson. But he (or his agent, the ubiquitous Askonas Holt) should remember that, thanks to Nigel Kennedy, name dropping your favourite football (soccer) team is now a very risky way for a serious musician to establish street cred.
The credibility of the article is not helped by the fact that, as French reader Antoine Leboyer points out in the first comment below, Observer journalist Michael Henderson hasn't checked his facts. Abbado has in fact conducted several French orchestras including l''Orchestre de Paris/Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française and at the Paris Opera. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story?
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