Maestro, isn’t that a bit too fast?

It’s always an interesting question as to who can REALLY stop the conductor. Last week came a new answer: try the police. Young whizz kid Venezuelan conductor Ilyich Rivas had just finished a great first concert with the I, Culture Orchestra in Lublin, Poland, when on the way to the post show party the police eyed him walking across a red pedestrian crossing. They immediately stopped and questioned him. His staggering fluency in music, Spanish, English and Italian had taken an entire orchestra of 18-28 year olds from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine – not to mention the audience – by storm, but it didn’t quite work with the Polish police, until his passport was fetched and what had started as a tense standoff in the back of a police car ended up with the police having a laugh with him and themselves. They then let him conduct his way back to the party. Follow the conductor? As experienced musicians say, ‘maybe …’

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