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Dominique Royem, Conductor

A conductor is a sculptor of sound and time. When I am on the podium, in a concert, my whole purpose it to create a living and breathing moment of art from a soundless piece of paper. I explore the nuances of how and why music is emotional, dramatic, and universal through intensive study of scores and music theory, then distill it to its kinesthetic essence. I wed the myriad of sounds from the instrumentalists in front of me to create a moving artistic experience in the concert hall, in real-time, by the movement of my body.

My art begins when I program a concert or a season. The season I create dictates the course of the whole institution, and the community surrounding it, for a year. For live music to reach its potential as one of the greatest acts of community, the community you serve has to be reflected on stage. This means a diverse, multi-genre approach to programming, breaking down the barriers of the “correct” music for an orchestra concert—along the lines of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms—and incorporating music from the daily lives of the community: musical theatre, movie scores, jazz, and pop.

I then immerse myself in the works I have chosen to perform. I dig through the music printed on paper, looking for moments of intensity, drama, and humanity that I think will draw my audience into the heart of the music. I carefully plan how I will move and shape the experience of the piece in its entirety before I even see the medium of my art, the orchestra.

The wonder of live music comes from the spirit in the room from the active transfer of art from participant to patron. For this to be the most effective the audience has to believe they are part of the art-making—and that responsibility lies squarely on my shoulders. During the performance, I am immersed in the act of creation, balancing the sounds coming out of the orchestra, the active expectations of the audience, and my own interpretation. I mold and shape the sound as it moves through time to create music and meaning. In the best performances, I become an invisible force – the only thing that is remembered is the impact of the music, and the feeling of community created by the act of art-making.

I believe that an orchestra and a conductor hold unique responsibilities for our culture. We hold the bulk of the cultural dialog from the past four centuries at our fingertips – no other medium makes experiencing the past as easy as music. I believe the orchestra must be a vehicle to inform and contextualize the foundational concepts of our larger culture. Orchestras should not just be museums to the greats of the past; they should help create an artistic narrative that gives meaning to the daily experiences of the audience. My artistic focus is to make sure this becomes a reality.

Artist Location

PO BOX 2003 77252

PO BOX 2003 77252 United States US Texas TX Houston