Quadriplegic Conductor Takes the Stage at Aspen Music Festival

Classic Arts News   Quadriplegic Conductor Takes the Stage at Aspen Music Festival
Mario Sergio Miragliotta, a quadriplegic conductor, will lead the Aspen Festival Orchestra on August 14, the Denver Post reports.

Miragliotta will conduct Honeggger's Pastorale d'_t_ at the Aspen Festival.

His injuries were sustained in a 2001 car accident while he was driving to the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen. The upcoming concert will be his first appearance in Aspen since the accident, although since then he has conducted Los Angeles's American Youth Symphony and other ensembles.

Miragliotta told the Post "My hands, arms, and legs aren't very functional, so I'll be conducting from my wheelchair on the stage, not from a podium. The magic lies in how to communicate with the orchestra in new ways."

He added, "Being in front of an orchestra is like being in front of an X-ray machine. The musicians don't need much from a conductor except a little help with the mathematics of music and knowing you have something to say about the music. What's really important is to touch their hearts. And that's not something you see, but something inside of you that musicians can sense about you with very little body motion."

The August 14 concert will also include David Zinman, music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, conducing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 and Strauss's Ein Heldenleben. Robert Levin is the piano soloist.

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