Photo of Robert Kahn

Following our March 8th unveiling of our Final Four Music Director Candidates, we’ve embarked on a four-week journey to acquaint ourselves with each candidate individually. All were posed with the same three questions. We hope you’ll enjoy reading their replies and gain a deeper insight into their personalities. For this second week, we will focus on Robert Kahn.


  • What do you love most about conducting?

For me, the ultimate joy of conducting is to study great works from a wide range of repertoire, and to collaborate with musicians to share the beauty of these works with audiences.


  • What inspired you to pursue a career in conducting?

Growing up, I had two passions: clarinet and physics. Studying both subjects as an undergraduate student, I found my ultimate passion in conducting. Like physics, conducting involves detailed analysis, finding connections, and uncovering fundamental laws. What makes conducting even more special is that it is a creative process that involves working with musicians toward the shared goal of inspiring audiences.


  • Can you share a memorable or unexpected moment you’ve experienced while conducting?

One memorable moment came during a dark time for the world: the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. While I was still a fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, with students scattered across the world in lockdown, I decided to create a tribute video to healthcare workers. With students contributing from their homes, we performed an arrangement I made of America the Beautiful, which started with one instrument and gradually added more. The response from this video was both unexpected and incredibly touching, and taught me about the power of communicating through music. (Video here). 


Link to Robert’s website