Questioning the conductors: Gary Thor Wedow

Gary Thor Wedow sat down with TGN to talk about his run of Messiah performances with the Seattle Symphony this weekend. Wedow is an active early music and opera conductor whose reputation continues to grow.  He has conducted both the Seattle Symphony and the Seattle Opera in recent years. This past fall, Wedow led the New York City Opera in a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which by all accounts, was a bloody, sexualized, and well received production. For those who may not know, the New York City Opera went dark for a year and a half after financial difficulties, leadership turmoil, and eventually a complete renovation of Koch Theater.  I confessed to Wedow that if I lived in New York, I would probably prefer the edgier performances and pluckier attitude of City Opera to the neighboring Metropolitan Opera. 

Wedow impressed me with his breadth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the Messiah but also for new and contemporary music – an area most might not immediately associate with Wedow. We talked for more than twenty minutes on camera, and at least twenty minutes off camera, slowly shuffling toward Benaroya Hall’s artist’s entrance. It was one of those walking conversations where there is more conversation than actual walking. Just before leaving the hall, I told Wedow how much I appreciate and how much I learn about music when I interview conductors, composers, musicians, and that I have met so many interesting people that I would want to invite them all to dinner. Hyperbole? Perhaps. In Wedow’s case, I might just try to wrangle a dinner out of him next time I am in New York or he is in Seattle.


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