This presentation and discussion will explore leading and following in music settings with the Principal Percussionist of the ENO orchestra.

What can we learn about organisational life from the work and craft of the orchestral musician, and the complex management of authority over the instrument, over others, and in response to the authority of the score and the conductor? Mick Doran will talk with Lydia Hartland-Rowe about experiences of leading and following from the heart of the orchestra, and from other aspects of working life as a professional musician.

This event will explore the parallels between leading and following in music settings, and leading and following in any environment. It will have a wide appeal for those interested in music, systems psychodynamics, leadership and following. During the event there will be a presentation including notes from observations, conversation and video – and a good deal of the humour that is key to survival in orchestral life. We hope that themes looking at the work of the musician, systems psychodynamic thinking and what happens in other organisational settings can be improvised on together, with contributions from the audience.

Speaker biographies

MICK DORAN is Principal Percussionist of the English National Opera Orchestra. After studying at the Royal Academy of Music he was appointed Principal Percussionist for Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet before moving to ENO. He also enjoys a busy freelance career with the UK’s premier orchestras, opera and ballet companies, as well as working on many top film scores, West End musicals and playing contemporary music and jazz. As a Professor at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music he enjoys passing on his experiences to a new generation of players. Mick appears regularly on Radio and TV.

LYDIA HARTLAND-ROWE is Workforce Wellbeing Lead at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She met Mick at the Royal Academy of Music where she studied double-bass, before becoming a music therapist. She then turned to psychoanalytic child psychotherapy and has been an active clinician and educator at the Tavistock and elsewhere since 2000. Since her first Group Relations Conference during the child psychotherapy training, she has been interested in what orchestral life can tell us about leadership, personal and organisational authority – and the importance of the tea break and who gets the first round in…

Clips featured during the talk

Blue Danube – followship

Sir Adrian Boult explains his conducting technique

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 / Karajan · Berliner Philharmoniker

London Symphony Orchestra (Gergiev) – “Bolero”

Buddy Rich Big Band – Big Swing Face

Nothing Like You – Gil Evans

Killer Joe – Quincy Jones

Mahler Symphony No. 5, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti

Symphony No.5 Mahler – London Symphony Orchestra – Ion Marin (encore Elgar Salut d’amour)

Power in the orchestra

Toscanini DESTROYS a bass section

All of Me – Count Basie and his Orchestra

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