• Gail MLT

Baton on the run

Photo credit: Geetha G. Ooi

First and foremost, Sandra Ragusa is a musician. Without knowing it, you have probably heard her play. As a flutist, she has contributed to the soundtracks of major motion pictures, including The Horse Whisperer, The Lion King, Rocket Man, Mulan, Sleepers, The Color Purple, Apollo Thirteen, Seabiscuit, 101 Dalmatians – among others. But it is her work as one of the rare female symphonic conductors that first caught our attention. For starters, we wanted to know if the movements of a baton and the body language and accompanying gestures of the conductor are universally recognized - that is, is there a semaphore-type directory for symphonic conducting?

Says Ragusa, "The baton is the only instrument you learn where there is no one way or ten ways AND when you practice, you practice in silence."

We were fascinated, and she had much more to say about the state and future of classical music. For the complete Up Late Thinking Interview with Sandra Ragusa, click here.

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