Maestro Who Conducts Symphony With Back Facing Audience Labelled Radical Traditional
Albuquerque, New Mexico––After conducting his first symphony since being named Maestro of the New Mexico Philharmonic, Chinese-born Li Wei Chen has been under heavy scrutiny from longtime patrons for conducting Beethoven’s famous 9th Symphony while facing the orchestra. One patron, Lance Humphrey, told EOTT that he was offended that Chen did not conduct facing the audience like their old maestro. “Look, I understand that the symphony is still the symphony no matter what, but I just think that turning his back toward us while conducting just takes us back to an archaic time.” Many have reportedly labelled Chen a “Rad Trad,” saying that he was out of touch with mainstream music. Cecilia Cotes, 53, says that it reminds her of times when she would be in music class and would be “whacked on the knuckles with a violin bow.” “It’s completely outdated,” Cotes says. “What we want is Maestro Chen to turn and face us so that we can feel like we’re participating in the orchestral movements. Does that make sense?” At press time, Chen has said that he would not turn to face the people, but would consider allowing a number patrons on stage to turn the pages of the sheet music during concerts.