Join me in #askaconductor on December 8

A month or two ago, museums and galleries around the world participated in a Twitter event called Ask a Curator. The hash tag #askacurator became a top trending topic on Twitter on the day of the event. I asked some questions myself and was amazed at the speed of response from the Van Gogh Museum.

The event sparked a conversation on Twitter among some classical music people. “Wouldn’t it be cool to do something like that for classical music?” Well, here we are…

Together with Lacey Huszcza, Director of Operations & Promotions at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, I put together an event called #askaconductor. The accompanying Web site suggests that we can expand the event to other musicians throughout the year. Maybe we can have a #askacomposer or #askacellist in the Spring?

So, #askaconductor is the first #askthemusicians Twitter event. On December 8, 2010, conductors from around the world will come together to engage with fans, first-timers and complete strangers. The concept is simple: conductors make some time available to answer questions; Twitter followers ask their burning questions, and the conductors answer the questions. All in one day.

It is an opportunity for orchestras and the conductors that lead them to connect to their community and share their stories, love and passion, one tweet at a time. And it’s an opportunity to have some fun on Twitter and debunk some of those stubborn classical music myths.

Of course, there are challenges. How many conductors can we sign up? The event requires a little bit more commitment from classical music organizations than say Marcia Adair’s tremendously successful #operaplot event. That’s why we didn’t set any rules for committing time; half an hour would be great, half a day would be even better.

We also reached out to many orchestras to see if their music directors or other resident conductors, or perhaps guest conductors that happened to be in town, would be interested in participating. It’s a great way to promote an orchestra’s Twitter presence and go beyond the cut-and-paste news release headlines streaming from many accounts.

The success of the #askaconductor event will depend on the participation from both orchestras and conductors, as well as the audience asking questions. We’ve already gotten some great responses and we’ll be updating the line up as we confirm conductors. The League of American Orchestras and the Association of California Symphony Orchestras have pledged their support in promoting the event. Bloggers can use these handy banners. It promises to be an exciting event!

If you’re a conductor, or an arts manager that might know a conductor, and you want to play; sign up on the Web site. Or e-mail Lacey or me at info (at)

If you’re on Twitter and have always wondered how a conductor picks the music, or what exactly it means swinging a baton in front of a hundred musicians, save your questions for December 8.