Louis Langrée Wraps Up a Quietly Transformative Era of Conducting

Words by Joshua Barone | Photographs by Madeleine Hordinski

With a new job, Langrée is reaching the end of undersung runs with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Rehearsals led by the conductor Louis Langrée tend to follow a trajectory. Early on, he speaks poetically and tells stories; during preparations for a May concert with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where he is the music director, he explained Saint-Saëns with references to the Kyrie of a Mass and the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. But then his language becomes technical and specific; that day, broad explanations of mood gave way to meticulous balance and bowing as the playing took shape like an increasingly detailed, fine sculpture.

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