Virginia Symphony Orchestra Resident Conductor Benjamin Rous was the May guest speaker at Williamsburg Landing's lecture series for its residents. He provided a "behind the scene" insight into how the conductor interacts with the orchestra, the role of the concertmaster, the significance of seating positions within sections of the orchestra, and how program content influences the rehearsal schedule. He focused on some issues of which the general public is usually not aware, such as how keenly the conductor must listen to and observe individual sections of an orchestra, and how bowing techniques such as speed and direction of the bow are critical to enabling the string section of an orchestra sound unified. Regarding interpretation of scores, he stated that the further back in time a score originated, the fewer notes by the composer that exist regarding the dynamics and tempo of a composition.
Ben Rous began studying the violin at the age of 6, subsequently studied the viola, and is also an accomplished pianist. He performed two J.S. Bach piano preludes for his audience. He is a Harvard graduate, and earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler at the University of Michigan. He joined the VSO in 2010.
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