My guest on this episode is the orchestral conductor, pianist, author, speaker and coach, Dobbs Franks.
Born in the hills of Arkansas, Dobbs has performed all over the world and currently resides in Melbourne, Australia.
He recently wrote “So You Want to be a Musician…unsolicited advice for aspiring musicians” a book filled with invaluable lessons and professional insights from a life devoted to the art of making music.
Dobbs earned a masters degree from Julliard, and has enjoyed a career spanning six decades conducting symphony, opera, ballet, music theatre and chamber ensembles. He has trained and encouraged young performers throughout his career.
In this conversation we talk about some of the themes from his book, learn how rather than him discovering his niche as a musician, the niche found him - and Dobb’s shares some wonderful anecdotes about the people and situations that have made up his career.
Mentioned in this episode:
- Leon Barzin - Dobb’s conducting teacher for two years. In this clip you can see him conducting and hear about his work with the National Orchestral Association
- Berlioz Requiem
- Stravinsky Agon
- Kathleen Ferrier - English contralto
- Patrice Munsel - American coloratura soprano
- Photo of Bubbles - the original Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess. Here he is tapping in the 1937 film Varsity Show.
- The Sydney Morning Herald remembered Ruth Pearl (Franks) here in 2008 and on this New Zealand site
Conductors referenced in this conversation include:
- Claudio Abbado (conducting Mahler 3 with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra)
- Dimitri Mitropoulos
- Leonard Bernstein
- Pierre Monteux
- George Szell
- Bernard Haitink
- William Steinberg
You can learn more about Dobbs and purchase “So, You Want to be a Musician” at dobbsfranks.com