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[Table] IamAn orchestra conductor - I wave my arms for a living (or did, during non-COVID times)! AMA!

2020.07.26 04:42 500scnds [Table] IamAn orchestra conductor - I wave my arms for a living (or did, during non-COVID times)! AMA!

The conductor answered nearly all the questions, so there were some repetitive ones mixed in.
Questions Answers
Could an orchestra actually function/perform perfectly fine without you? The musicians all have their music in front of them and and a good part of their training has to do with really learning to play with each other, whether in the section, like string players matching the way they play, or within the orchestra, like when percussionists really know how to play with other instruments in the orchestra (unlike strings, percussionists can't really just "sneak in"). Honestly 85% of the time an orchestra might not need a conductor at all. But especially during times when the tempo is flexible a conductor is essential. And there needs to be an agreement on an artistic approach to the work. While some conductor-less orchestras have developed amazing systems to gain consensus about an artistic vision, in most cases the conductor is the one that unifies the approach to a piece. There might be a crescendo, a swelling in the music, but how is that crescendo done? With urgency? With patience and a slow build? The conductor generally decides those aspects.
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Hmmm, doesn't the Hannover Band play (and record) without a conductor? There are several conductor-less orchestras, one of the most famous being the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra which has released many recordings. New Century Chamber Orchestra in the SF Bay Area is conductor-less, and there are many others. But the vast majority of orchestras use conductors.
I have my hands in the air for a living too--only directing heavy equipment, so actually completely unrelated. Do your arms get tired? My arm actually feel asleep yesterday. What are the pro tips for tired conductor arms? You ever think about installing dry wall? I bet those guys got nothing on you. That's why we use batons! For conductors the tiring part comes when using your shoulders. The more just using forearms and a baton, the more stamina you have. And then when you're older you don't have big shoulder issues like many people have. And batons are designed to be ultra light and balanced so not too much strain.
Are you still able to make a living as an orchestra conductor with COVID impacting performances for live audiences? Many orchestras have completely shut down, some even completely cancelling their 20-21 seasons. For musicians it's a very difficult time as even when restrictions are relaxed, it'll be hard to get audiences into a concert hall when it's an enclosed space with lots of people over a longer period of time. So it's very difficult to know when the industry will be back. Many orchestras are pivoting to online concerts, but obviously it's not the same at all.
Some of my groups are now fully online for the time being, so it's not a complete loss. Even if the activities aren't full concerts, we're working on staying in the public eye and continuing to make artistic contributions during this time.
Yes, possible to make living, but the situation is now completely different on the ground!
Why does the media portray conductors like they're assholes with horrible tempers? Tom and Jerry and Ghostbusters for example. It used to be that conductors were actually like that, dictators on the podium. Toscanini, the famous italian conductor, was the Music Director for the NBC Orchestra for a long time. He was famous for his tirades. And there are still some conductors today with terrible tempers.
But today orchestral players have a lot more say about the conductors and even rate them. There are secret evaluations that orchestras have on conductors that we actually never see. Most conductors love collaborating with musicians, so conductors like Simon Rattle are leading the new charge of how conductors interact with orchestras.
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Nice thanks for answering. I'm a union member and am curious if (I believe they're unionized) the musicians union had any role to play in musician's rights so far as dealing with a jerk conductor and the evaluations you mentioned. Oh of course, ICSOM, OCSM, and ROPA all use evaluations and can request of other orchestras the evaluations of a conductor they're considering hiring for guesting or longer term things. And yes, many musician friends have good stories of the union standing up for players, even in the middle of rehearsal.
One opera conductor was pissed off about one section that the first violins were playing. It had happened to be that the second rehearsal had a few more subs in the first violin section - which is probably why some of the things rehearsed and intonation weren't like they were at the end of the first rehearsal. Anyway, the conductor was really mad and pointed at one of the players to stand up and play the excerpt solo. The union rep immediately jumped up and said, "maestro, unfortunately you can't do that - you can't single out players." Then the conductor said, fine the stand partner can stand up too. Union rep - "sorry, can't do that either." The players' committee and the conductor then went out to have a long discussion about this all... :p
Which instrument do you think is underutilized and you would like to hear more from? Hm, at this moment? Why not the theremin? That's the instrument that was often used for alien spooky sounds in old tv shows and movies. But it can be a gorgeous instrument, especially in the hands of somebody like carolina eyck. SF Ballet just did Little Mermaid with a score from Lera Auerbach. It uses theremin throughout and it's absolutely amazing as a legit instrument.
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are there any recorded works you might recommend that use a theremin throughout? I don't know if there's a released recording of Little Mermaid - but this video describes the composer's thoughts on using the theremin in the ballet:
What are your thoughts on symphonies playing along to movies like the Harry Potter series? My kids and I absolutely love these when they are available, but what do you and the other musicians think about this? Is it boring, exciting, or just another job? John Williams is a personal hero of mine. His background and training is rooted in classical music and continues the traditions of many of the greats. Most classical musicians I know absolutely love his music though it's a pain to play (since it can be really difficult). I remember conducting a pops concert of Harry Potter music when the movies had just come out. The orchestra players didn't know the music because it was so new and they were so upset because it was really difficult. And it was a pops concert so they only had one rehearsal to put it together.
All music though can get tiring if you do it too much - I'm lucky to be involved in many areas of music (choral, orchestra, opera, ballet, pops). If I had to do Star Wars every single weekend... well... honestly, I don't think I could get tired of that... :D
You ever go full Toscanini on a section/musician? One never goes full Toscanini ;)
Do you require that everyone refer to you as Maestro? Seinfeld... heh
I don't require it and do find it awkward, but often people do it as a default, especially if you don't know the person.
Who are some contemporary conductors you’re impressed by? I can't get enough of Anna Clyne. Conducted her night ferry last year which is a fantastic work. She just released a new cello concerto called Dance which is unbelievable.
Hello!! I'm in college for teaching band/orchestra and hoping to eventually get into professional conducting. I've noticed there's a distinct lack of women in the profession, at least on the instrumental side. It definitely seems to be a unspoken thing in instrumental music that women stick to the younger kids. What do you think we can do to help make instrumental conducting/teaching less intimidating for women to advance in? Do you have any specific tips for women (or anyone) entering the field? Is there a way to make myself stand out against the other candidates besides networking and practice? I understand if you don't want to answer this question as I can see how it would be controversial, but thanks for doing this! I hate that it's still common for some of the old guard to disparage female conductors. Conducting is a hard profession as it is anyway, but those that persevere will definitely make it. Definitely reach out to Marin Alsop, Joann Falletta - they really go out of their way to support female conductors. Orchestras will eat conductors alive, so it's key to know how to gain their respect.
This 27 year old conducted NY Phil and the flute player asked, do you want me to play it this way or this other way. The conductor said, the other way. The flutist snapped back, I played it the other way before and you didn't say anything, were you even listening?
Some conductors might have flinched, but he just laughed and said, "no, i didn't hear what you played, but i'm glad you brought it up." he gained the respect of the orchestra and they just got back to work.
There will still be people that disparage you - for being young, or being female, or being short, or not using a baton or whatever. But as long as you know your stuff, have a good working relationship with them, and don't waste their time - all that will go away. Ultimately they want to work with somebody that's not going to waste their time and who is going to get stuff done. After that, they won't care about anything else!
What's your favorite piece/composer to conduct? Anything you'd like to conduct but have never gotten the chance? Anything you see on a program and go "Ugghhhhhhhh"? Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet - so much color and power. The last scene, the death of Juliet, is so amazing.
There are hundreds of pieces I've never conducted yet, gotta do them all ;)
There are certainly pieces that are fun to conduct but I don't want to hear in concert. But more often it's the the performance isn't engaging. Even if it's a piece I wouldn't think to listen to but it's an amazing performance, it'll be great!
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Is there a rule that when conducting pieces from a ballet sans dancers you have to conduct it at an absurd speed that would give anyone who ever danced it a heart attack? Actually, SF Ballet was on tour to NYC and we were doing a piece that they were doing, but a completely different choreography. The NYCB dancers heard our tempo and completely freaked out - they immediately came out and were like that's utterly impossible to dance to! Heh, that was fun.
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I can not remember when SF ballet came here. Anyways, and on top of that NYCB is already too fast since Balanchine is the F1 of ballet. Did you or do you dance currently? It's a notorious battle between musicians/conductors and dancers about tempi like you mention. A hint that I'll mention is that musicians tend to prefer to be too fast when working with dancers than too slow. If it's too slow it kills the dancers, whereas if it's too fast they can leave out something. Obviously neither are ideal and I love collaborating and trying to really connect to what is going on on stage. But yes, many ballet conductors are told "if you miss a tempo, better to be too fast than too slow." (for what it's worth)
Forgive me if this seems ignorant, but I'd like to ask, with each person playing their instrument and having a sheet in front of them, what is the role of a conductor? Do you point towards the people you want to take the lead in a particular verse, and then point up or down depending on the volume and tone you want them to play at? Just answered a similar question above! But I'll also add that professional orchestras often put together music very quickly. A normal pace is the week of the concerts (3-5 rehearsals). There are many concerts, especially pops or education concerts, which have only a single rehearsal! So a conductor is needed to ensure that the process is efficient.
Yes, cuing (pointing or gesturing towards certain instruments) is an important part of conducting. As mentioned in the other comment, the musicians have the music in front of them. It might say to play loud, but how are they to play loud? Aggressive and with force? Warm and comforting? Brilliant and bright? The conductor and our gestures help convey the style of the music.
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[deleted] It has to do with perception of weight often. Gesturing with a very tight intense arm will imply aggression. If you hold your arms like you're holding something, like a pumpkin in implies a weight that will imply a certain type of tone that is warmer, fuller, richer. If your hands are palms down and relatively higher, like elevated near your face, it's like they're floating. You might imply a more ethereal, lighter sound in that manner.
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Not always gestures - (a video I watched a number of times - always get a kick out of the expressions) Hey man, with masks on during performances and rehearsals I have to work on my eyebrow gestures too... :D
How did you find your calling? I was on a choir tour in undergrad (as a piano major) and we were giving our 7th concert out of something like 14 concerts. So the same repertoire each time that we had been working on for months. However, this performance was transformative. One of the works was a Ukrainian carol and this seventh performance happened to be at a Ukrainian church with a large Ukrainian population. We realized they all knew the carol we were singing and there was something transformed in the performance. The entire room, audience, performers, conductor were fully in the performance together. I realized at that point that the conductor was the conduit for the energy in the room - it was the start of my love of conducting.
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Was it Shchedryk? That wasn't the particular piece but we did have a version of Carol of the Bells that we performed. I actually don't remember the song itself, but it was a holiday song about girls singing and rocking their dolls?
How much do you get to override the arranger? Like if something just isn't working for your players, can/do you rewrite some measures here and there to keep everybody happy? Yes, that happens a lot with new works or pop pieces. Sometimes if you get a poor arranger they write something that's not playable for the instrument. So if the arranger or composer isn't there, the conductor and player can change the music. Sometimes we have to make interpretive decisions, that even still happens with composers like Beethoven. The instruments during Beethoven's time didn't have the full range of today's instruments and sometimes he wrote awkward things for them to play to adjust. But if those instruments had the full range, it's obvious he would have just written it how he wanted it. So you can choose to do what is currently written, or what you think Beethoven would have actually wanted.
Doing concerts and traveling a lot, how do you balance that with family life, having pets, hobbies, ...? Honestly it's REALLY hard. Many very famous conductors who are on the road have horrible personal lives. Luckily I have/had a good balance between concerts near my home and traveling. My wife likes to bring up at dinner parties when I left for Paris for five weeks only a month after our second child was born. But I have many mornings free and early parts of the week so I see the kids to school for drop off and am involved with their school a bit as well.
As for hobbies, I'm a sucker for restaurants/drinks so that works really well for travel. And if it's a particularly long trip and things make sense regarding school, oftentimes people have their families travel with them.
Obviously everything's changed now and I'm home almost 24/7. I'm WAY more stir crazy as it's a drastic lifestyle change for me. But managing, like everybody else - chatting for this IAMA helps ;)
When the DJ says to "put your hands in the air" and "wave them around like you just don't care", do you join in? Or is that considered taking your work home with you? man, but i wave them around like i do care. :p
Since you're a conductor and there is a pandemic going on, how do you continue your career from your home? I mean, I don't know an app that has zero latency for musicians to communicate and play along, so everyone needs to record their own tracks and send them to an arranger in order to have a clean recording. So we don't need a conductor in this case, right? Is there a way that you can continue as a conductor? If there is none, are you playing an instrument or are you doing the arranging? Conducting in the traditional sense in Covid time is impossible. There's just no way for a large group of people/instrumentalists to actually play together. Too many issues with people's internet speeds, the delay of processing, actual distance, etc. All the videos you see online of virtual performances are artificial. They're not following the conductor, they're following a click track or a recording they're listening to (hence all the headphones). But Music Directors do more than just conduct, there's a lot of administrative responsibilities so we're still generally employed.
Thank you so much for doing this AMA! I am an undergrad for music ed. My goal is to be a choral director for advanced or professional choirs. I also hope to get involved in the musical theater scene. Do you have any experience working with choir or theater? How does your conducting style change when there is no orchestra? Do you change your style for ballet or opera? How much do you deviate from the traditional conducting pattern? I notice a lot of high level conductors rarely just beat time unless there is something of importance. Do you have any advice for someone starting down this path? P.s I would love if I could get the chance to chat live(or by email) about your thoughts around music and covid. I actually started in choral and symphonic choral conducting! Yes, conducting for ballet/opera is completely different, especially opera, because your function is hyper critical. You're trying to align the sounds from the stage, which could be 40 feet away from you, with the sounds of the orchestra below the stage. It's really thrilling to do. In general the conductor needs to be of greatest service to the ensemble. So with professional orchestras, they need something very different than amateur or student groups. Opera orchestras need something different than choirs. So your conducting will change greatly.
I deviate a lot from conducting patterns and would suggest practicing musical gestures first. I used to practice conducting patterns a lot and it's hard to break that as a default. Since you want to portray the music, it's good to connect to musical gestures too.
Sure, I'm happy to chat - since my website is up in the proof section (, just email me through there.
If I (with basically no knowledge of classical music, other than being able to recognise some pieces from adverts) listened to the same piece of music conducted by three different people, would I be able to discern a difference? I assume you would be able to? Linked to that, I'm curious about whether conductors have their own discernible styles; would you be able to identify a particular conductor on hearing, for the first time, a particular piece conducted by them? Yes! Definitely I think you'd be able to tell the difference. Obviously with more exposure, elements of each work would start to stand out more. But there are very different versions out there of various works.
Listen to Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 - the heavy metal movement:
Example 1 - Manic and out of control (deliberately so)
Example 2 - tragic and depressing
The first example is deliberately so fast and out of control, the playing is angular and aggressive. The second is much slower and really with (deliberately) better tone but still intense.
It depends what affect you're looking to achieve - even the same conductor will change the way they approach a work each time they do it.
Are you also a musician? Did you go to college? What did you study? Went to grad school and undergrad for music. Grad school was conducting, undergrad was piano pedagogy and music education. Piano was my main instrument and I still play a bit today. But had some tendinitis issues so I try to limit my playing!
I also play violin and in the past used to sit in a community orchestra... and complain about how much conductors talk. ;)
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I'm a budding pianist so I had to ask this, can you tell me how you had the issue? I want to try and avoid that in the future! Seriously take rests part of every hour. Remember that the pain you might feel in your wrist is the friction from inflammation. When you're having pain in your wrists and after advil you feel better, that's when it's healing, not that it's actually healed yet. Just like anything, it's building in the habits of resting enough, even if you think you don't need it. You do. And going to type at the computer is not giving your fingers/arms a rest. Those things! Hyper important!
What's the opera house or concert hall that's on your wishlist to conduct, and what opera house/concert hall impressed you the most? Bolshoi theater in Moscow was one of my favorites. Amazing history and orchestra. The sound from the pit was so powerful and live.
I've never conducted in the concertgebouw - would love to conduct there!
Reading up on John Cage, he apparently had some difficulties with some orchestras. He describes Bernstein as not getting what he and Feldman and others were doing and just allowing each member of the orchestra to improvise whatever they wanted was basically the same thing. And how members of the orchestra destroyed some of the equipment he had purchased for them to use (contact mics, etc). This was all in the late '50s, if I recall, but even in the '70s and '80s he had to stipulate in writing a minimum amount of practice time or he would withdraw the piece because apparently orchestras would assume that they could just wing it when it came to his music and not practice it ahead of time. I assume things are better now -- especially with Cage -- but do you run into pieces that some members of orchestras rebel against even if in minor ways? Do you conduct much music in that more avant-garde/experimental vein? How have audience reactions to this kind of music evolved over the years? Is it the essentially the same? Does location matter (thinking the LA Phil and SF Phil vs more conservative places) the most? Oh god, it's actually NOT often better. There are conductors and orchestras that despise playing new music, even those that are known for doing new works. Sometimes composers are really given very little rehearsal time, or players complain about how the part is written.
I absolutely LOVE new music - it's not only discovering what the composer is saying, but also learning the musical voice of a composer. This is different than in Beethoven's time as Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn were all writing within a certain style. Today's composers are finding their musical voices in addition to figuring out what to say about their works.
But I'm not known as a new works conductor so I rarely get asked to do new works. I think that audiences sometimes are scared of new works, but if an organization or a conductor really embraces it and shows why these works are important, than that goes a long way to making it exciting for audiences.
Is there a particular section of an orchestra that you are not a "fan" of? I went to college as a piano major (did not work out, too competitive and I wasn't dedicated enough) and I had a personal beef with the french horns. Are you trying to get me killed. I love ALL the instrument groups in the orchestra. Equally. Because, you know, if I didn't, I'd be in trouble. Especially the bassoons. :p
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As a trombonist I can confirm the answer is the trombone section. We think every note is a solo and Interpret every dynamic marking as triple-mother-forte. Never look at the trombones... it only encourages them... (Strauss)
I've been to an outdoor performance of the 1812 Overture with real cannons, what weird instrument have you pointed your baton for conduction and direction? And how could you communicate to someone firing a cannon that you'd want more emotion from their performance? :) Cannons are always the top for weird instruments. But the vibraslap (flexatone) is a favorite of mine for fun instruments. You can hear it in this recording.
During the performance, the conductor is, of course, God. But before that, do you have to listen to the stage managers like the rest of the mortals? Always listen to the stage managers... :) some of my favorite people.
Actually, once my vest came undone and the stage manager came rushing out on stage after me to fix it... the audience got a laugh out of that...
As a conductor, how big an influence do you have on the final performance. Would you be able to recognize the conductor based on their "signature style" when hearing a piece of music being performed? There are some stylistic traits that might be identifiable, but the ensemble has SO much to do with the sound. Chicago Symphony was famous for their brass, Vienna has a very famous overall sound. Simon Rattle once did a Beethoven cycle with Berlin and London at the same time - the two recordings are very different!
Have you ever conducted a combination of two music pieces? Yes! Some pieces were meant to be played on top of each other. I forget the piece, but one piece is actually supposed to be the sounds of a cell phone and conversation interrupting another.
But some pieces are meant to sound like two pieces played at the same time - Charles Ives was famous for that. He lived in the center of a small town that had two marching bands. The bands, to avoid bothering each other, would play on opposite sides of the town. However, where Ives lived he could hear both bands. So he often wrote music to sound like two pieces played at the same time that had nothing to do with each other.
University viola student here and I found we actually happen to have mutual friends on Facebook LOL. Music world is small. Anyways I wanted to ask some things about what you listen for during auditions. I’ve heard many things from my teachers and other musicians who have been on the audition panel about what THEY listen for but haven’t heard all that much about what the conductors themselves are looking for. -What can make an audition positively stand out from the rest? -Are there any automatic giveaways that someone auditioning has what you are looking for or vice versa? And how long do you have to listen for you to know? Edit: One more question- Best viola joke you know? You're a violist so you already know all the best jokes! But of course, my favorite is that this violist ran up to the conductor whining and said, "maestro - my stand partner detuned one of my strings!!" the conductor said, "man that's childish, oh well, sorry to hear about that." the violist whined again and said, "you don't understand the worst part - he didn't tell me which one!!!"
The Met Opera is doing masterclasses and often on audition prep:
July 15 11am EST. This is the cello/bass masterclass as the viola has already passed. But yes, feel free to watch.
Auditions are brutal. Seriously. Single mistakes are perfectly fine, unless there's a hint of some systemic issue. Most people want to hear personality and a deep understanding of the music in excerpts.
Other than orchestras and music groups simply trying to convert ticket sales to "live stream" events, or "zoom" concerts, are you hearing or seeing any examples of new trends or innovations in "live" performances amid/post COVID? Classical/new music concert-going will be forever changed. Out here in Boston, my partner is still deeply mourning the personal and professional loss of what would have been a pretty baller 20/21 season. I'm so saddened for all my colleagues and friends in the performing arts. I suspect many won't be able to recover. It's so tough because the power of music is the direct communication, not only with the audience but with the other players. I have no idea what trends will continue but everybody agrees that zoom and other virtual programming seem much more temporary fixes than industry changes. Unless there's a way to have truly simultaneous playing virtually it'll be impossible to have actual performances together.
It's really just a tough time for everybody - something like 40% of restaurants have permanently closed because of COVID. My best it to try to keep people involved and excited about music. Hopefully we'll get back to performing sooner than later. It's hard to hear about orchestras in New Zealand and Europe already returning when in the US it looks like we won't be there for at least another year (for performances).
My perspective is the work of the conductor is making sure the piece is interpreted correctly by the orchestra. Making sure the orchestra is playing it flawlessly as a unit and also that the notes and timing are correct. What we see on stage is mostly theater. How far off am I? Very close! The only difference it that there are many ways to interpret a piece, so the conductor decides the artistic vision of that particular performance. Orchestras often keep different sets for the same piece since conductors will have different approaches to the work.
The conductor is essential during the performances too though. It can be very hard for orchestra members to hear across the stage and there's still a lot of flexibility that happens in performances. There IS a lot of theater and show during the performance, but lots of practical need too.
I keep going back to the recording of Klaus Makela conducting the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra on the Ninth Symphony. He seems to express such affection for the musicians and (at least to my eye) seems to be connecting deeply. Am I over-romanticizing this, or is this anywhere near the experience for an experienced conductor? The filming of the performance was wonderful as well! The connection with the orchestra is utterly key. If you don't have the trust and respect from the orchestra, they will literally try to ignore you. The best performances, at least to me, are those where the orchestra and instrumentalists truly respect each other and work together for the performances. It really is one of the most critical things!
Favorite choral pieces written in the 21st century? Oh I'm such a sucker for a cappella like Eric Whitacre's Sleep.
I play the violin. I dream of being an orchestra conductor since I was little. My idol is Gustavo Dudamel since we are from the same country. Any advice on how to be a conductor? Learn your instrument as best you can and just be as curious as you can be. Try to ask conductors for their advice and try to emulate the ones that the orchestras respect. Learn as much about music history, theory, orchestration, etc. as you can!
Favorite funny memory from a performance/rehearsal? I was conducting Giselle (ballet) for the first time and there was a hunting scene with two dogs in it. In the middle of the scene they just start having sex - the audience went nuts. They were laughing so much that the orchestra couldn't even hear themselves play (and couldn't see what was going on). Best part was the ballet artistic director was so mad that at intermission he went backstage and fired one of the dogs...
What is the most satisfying part of your job? There are moments in the concert where everything goes right. The intonation, alignment, the way everybody plays together, a particularly beautiful solo from a player. Those are my favorite moments.
How does one get to carnegie hall? To perform? You just rent it out - it's actually a common rental and I can say I "performed" there when I was like 13 or so and also gave a piano performance in one of the smaller rooms at age 18.
Who were the conductor you were influenced by? Kleiber's musicianship and ease of conducting. Bernstein's infectious buoyant energy. Simon Rattle's curiosity and joy.
This just popped up in my feed so I hope it’s not too late to ask a question. With the autonomy that conductors have (urgency of a crescendo example); how close do you feel modern day renditions of the classics are to say a Mozart or Beethoven’s vision of their original piece? Period performances, which is the practice of trying to recreate as much as possible the original performance practices of Mozart's and Beethoven's day is a whole field of classical music. Instruments have greatly changed since that time and the range and strength of instruments have increased in the modern day. So right away modern orchestras have a different sound. There are some orchestras, like the Vienna Philharmonic, who are considered the authority for how Mozart and Beethoven should be performed. But there really are different ways of approaching their works. Beethoven's metronome markings are notoriously weird, people even speculate it was broken they're so off from what seems normal. So a lot of debate!
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Thank you so much for your response and this AMA. I totally get your point about the evolution of instruments, if I could ask you one more question regarding that; how would you reconcile today’s instruments and said advancements to the unicorn of orchestra instruments, the “Strad”. Cellist hobbyist here and to the guy that questioned your intent on doing this AMA, screw him. Eh, it's okay - the guy's a troll - his account is filled with him saying the same thing for various IAMAs - so not even worth getting worked up about it.
Yes, with stringed instruments the old italians, bunch of french, and some germans are fantastic! But with some instruments, like basses, wind instruments, various brass instruments, a lot of changes have taken place over time. Even in Brahms' horn trio was written for natural horn, not the modern horn. And man, the tuba is still going through changes.
Many modern high end string instruments are really fantastic instruments. And the difference between them and strads etc really isn't that much. Obviously strads have a marketing value and historic value. But as instruments, there are plenty that are very close.
How does one become an conductor? I’ve always wondered Most people learn an instrument as best they can first. There typically aren't undergrad conducting programs - just grad programs. They have to learn music theory, history, and how each instrument works (but they don't have to know how to play them). If you take the responsibility to lead a group, you need to know everything about the piece you're conducting!
I listened to an interesting podcast recently in which somebody from an orchestra described some stereotypes about the musicians who play different instruments, with the violin players as prima donnas, the viola player as wannabe violin players and so on. How would you briefly describe the players of the major instrument groups? Heh... a lot of those tend to be true... this is a cop out but I'm going to play nice and not stereotype orchestra sections too much. Except for the contrabassoon specialists... they're a special breed... j/k :p
the below is a reply to the above
Hey now! Have you ever gotten to play a contrabasoon? I’m just saying it rattles something deep inside. It could change your life. One of my closest friends is married to a contra player - heh :) I just like giving him a hard time. Beauty and Beast excerpt is so great too. And had a crush on a contra player when i was younger, man, she was good with a knife :p
Hi maestro, I’m a composer and have lots of questions. In your career, what have been the most challenging pieces to tackle and why? Which pieces have required the most workshopping with the orchestra? What are the biggest sins a musician can commit and have you ever had to fire somebody? Have you ever heard this piece? I’ve always wanted to get a conductor’s take. And finally, what’s the most underrated ballet and why? I think the word challenging can be taken in two different ways - one could be technically/practically challenging, the other could be musically challenging. Practically, works with a lot of changing meter but also shifting emphases often are difficult. John Adams is famous for music that doesn't sound like the meter that it's written in. Some of those works are pretty challenging. Musically it's all over the place - even Mozart can be difficult to get musically satisfying!
Musicians need to prepare their parts and be ready to work on orchestra. While I've never fired people during a concert, I've definitely stopped hiring people or removed them from the orchestra for not preparing (multiple times).
I love Zappa!!!
Most underrated ballet - it's hard because there are ones that are audience favorites, but all the new works out there can be absolutely amazing. There's a work called Hummingbird by Liam Scarlett that I absolutely love!!
Do you think you can be good with dance pad with your legs? I'm actually notoriously terrible with dancing! Conductors aren't supposed to move their feet so perhaps I lost some ability there.
Do you wave your hands when you talk on the phone? AND pace. I find it pretty annoying that I can't sit still when talking on the phone... it's really bothersome...
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2020.07.05 20:18 LearningIsListening A not-so-brief rundown of letters D-F in Jeffrey Epstein's 'Little Black Book'

Below is a rundown of letters D-F of Epstein's contacts. Last year, I wrote about letters A-C. You can check that out here ( There are some misspelled names. Epstein entered their names like this.
I have bolded some of the more interesting connections and information, but there could be much more that I overlooked. I hope something here strikes an interest in someone and maybe we can get more investigations out of this. Please, if you know anything more about any of these people than what is presented here, post below. I am working off of the unredacted black book found here:
d’abo, Henri & Tatiana: John Henry Erland d’Abo is the grandson of the 9th Duke of Rutland (more info on what these titles all mean can be found here: Tatjana is his wife. Henry is the chairman of Wilton Payments Ltd, a private company that helps with financial intermediation. He and Christopher O’Neill are the primary shareholders of the company. O’Neill is Tatjana’s half-brother, a British-American financier, and husband to Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, a daughter of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
d’abo, Mrs. Jennifer: British entrepreneur who passed away in 2003. d’Abo was once married to Peter Cadbury from the family of the famous chocolate company. Peter did not work for the company, but he and Jennifer d’Abo had a son together. Their son, Joel Cadbury, became owner of the Groucho Club, a watering hole often frequented by famous people. Three years after Cadbury sold the club, their website became the center of a child pornography scandal (link to story:
D’Alessie, Carman: This name turned up no results, however, we can safely assume that this is actually Carmen D’Alessio, the international nightlife guru who helped spawn Studio 54 and other famous clubs. She is a party legend with countless celebrity ties.
d’Arenberg, Prince Pierre: Family lineage can be traced back 1000 years. European royalty. Extremely wealthy not because of his ties to nobility, but because his mother, Margaret Bedford, was an heiress to Standard Oil (Exxon).
d’Uzes, Jacques De crussol: The 17th Duke of Uzes. Not much else found on him. Margaret Bedford married into his family shortly after her divorce with Prince Charles Auguste Armand d’Arenberg, father of Prince Pierre d’Arenberg.
Dabbagh, Amr A.: A wealthy businessman/investor from Saudi Arabia. Dabbagh recently faced corruption charges but settled with the Saudi Arabian government. Has ties all around the world, as he is a member of and/or serves/served on the boards of the World Economic Forum, London Business School, Cleveland Clinic, Jeddah Economic Forum, Harvard Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East, etc.
Dahl, Sophie: ‘90s-’00s model-turned-author and maternal granddaughter of famous author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, etc.) Dahl has been seen in photos with Ghislaine Maxwell.
Darrin, Drake: Not much information found. Darrin runs an investment group out of Greenwich, Connecticut. Lived about a mile away from Epstein in NYC.
Dartmouth, William: The 10th Earl of Dartmouth. Member of the European Parliament from 2009-2019. Became a stepbrother of Princess Diana when his mother embarked on a 2nd marriage with Diana’s father, John Spencer.
Davies, Jeff: Most likely refers to the current CFO for Legal & General Group. Davies was once a senior partner at Ernst & Young.
Davies, David & Linda: Sir David Davies is a wealthy banker and businessman with deep connections. A family friend introduced him to David Rockefeller back in the ‘60s, which helped him get his start. Linda, daughter of a Chinese-Malaysian tycoon, is his second wife. They were married for over 20 years but are now divorced.
Davis, Michael: A current partner at N3 Media, Davis has had many jobs. He started out working at CAA, one of the top agencies in the world. Check out this list of celebrities and athletes that they represent ( Davis then went on to produce movies and TV shows before transitioning to digital media.
Day, Nick and Heather: Not much to be found on these two. There are several articles that speak of their ranch in Kenya. Apparently, it is a fairly popular spot where people stay to get some rest and solitude.
de Andrade, Marcelo: An international banker (not the serial killer) who lives within one mile of Epstein’s mansion in NYC. de Andrade was married to Lisa Bjornson, a successful banker and higher-up at J.P. Morgan Securities back in the ‘90s.
de Baecque, Patrick: de Baecque has his hands in online news media ( in France. de Baecque was named Director of Sales and Operations at Dolead in 2017. Dolead is a company that is involved with online marketing.
de Cabrol, Milly: A high-end interior designer based out of NYC.
De Cadenet, Alen: Alain de Cadenet is one of Epstein’s many Formula One contacts. Someone here probably knows more about de Cadenet, but he used to be a racecar driver and now works for ESPN and the Speed Channel as a host.
de Clermont-Tonnerre, Hermine: A French princess who used to have a penchant for partying. The only daughter of Charles Henri, 11th Duke of Clermont-Tonnerre, Hermine was one of 500 guests invited to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s 100th birthday back in 2000. Hermine got in a motorcycle crash a month ago that put her in a coma.
De Georgiou, Anouska: A former British Playboy model who claims that Epstein groomed and raped her as a teenager when she met him in the 1990s. Her experience with Epstein is detailed in this article ( She speaks about how Epstein was able to lure her into the life as a young girl.
De Soto, Fernando: Very difficult to pinpoint. Best guess is that this is the Head of Real Estate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Madrid, Spain. I could be wrong, but this is the one that made the most sense.
Dedieu, Jean & Paulette: Nothing found.
Del Bono, Luca: Co-founder of Quintessentially Group, a hospitality group that specializes in leisure, travel, and tourism.
Dell, Adam: Brother of Michael Dell (Founder of Dell Technologies and 27th ranked richest person in the world in Forbes’s BS rankings that discount the elite families). Adam is a venture capitalist who has a baby with Padma Lakshmi.
Deluca Dina & Fouard Chartuuni: Fouad Chartouni is the president of Kensico Properties, a real-estate holding company in New York. Chartouni and his brother own the Lowell Hotel in New York. The Lowell is a high-end 5 star hotel that caters largely to film executives, fashion design CEOs, publishing CEOs, and financial CEOs. Madonna lived there for nearly a year after breaking up with Sean Penn. Dina Deluca is Chartouni’s wife. She used to work as an assistant in film and television, but now focuses on her DDC28 brand of bath and beauty products.
Derby Earl / Cntess Cass & Ted: Edward Stanley (known informally as Teddy) is the 19th Earl of Derby. Caroline Stanley is Ted’s wife. She was a socialite during the ‘90s and is the daughter of Robin Neville, the 10th Baron Braybrooke.
Derby, Ros & Jonathan: No info found.
Di Vita, Charlotte: Best known for her handcrafted teapots, di Vita started off as a volunteer who helped raise funds to help poor people, most notably in Kenya, Thailand, and Brazil. She helped locals grow food and even helped build 3 schools (37 teachers, 1100 students) through a charity, Trade plus Aid, in Bawku, Ghana, in 1995.
Dickenson, Debbie: Supermodel and actress. Sister of the more famous Janice Dickinson.
Dickinson, Janice: One of the most successful models of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Dickinson has been occasionally labeled as the first ever supermodel. Opened her own modeling agency in 2005. Ironically, she accused Bill Cosby of raping her back in 1982 and wrote about it in her memoir. When called to the stand during Cosby’s trial, Cosby’s lawyer pointed out the differences between Dickinson’s testimony and her account of the incident in her memoir. Dickinson said that her accusations of Cosby raping her while under oath were the absolute truth, while she took “poetic license” with some of the details in her memoir.
Dietrich Marc Antoine and Cath: Baron Marc-Antoine de Dietrich is a businessman. He resigned as director of Vossloh Cogifer in 2011.
Dietrich, Paul & Laura: Paul is Chief Investment Officer of Fairfax Global Markets LLC. They manage investments for private investors, retirement funds, and private institutions.
Dimbelby, Johnathan: Jonathan Dimbleby is a famous British reporter, political radio and television show host, and author.
Diniz, Pedro: Former Formula One driver and businessman. Now runs a large scale organic farm in Brazil.
Dixon, Alexandra: No info found.
Djerassi, Dale: Film producer and private investor who was married to Ghislaine Maxwell’s sister, Isabel, from 1984-1989.
Dolbey, Alex & Suzie: Suzie Dolbey (nee Murray-Philipson) is the daughter of the recently deceased Robin Murray-Philipson, who was the descendant of the Viscounts Elibank. Alex Dolbey has been the director of several management and investment companies.
Donne, Alegra: Couldn’t find much except a bunch of pictures of her hobnobbing at fancy parties. Actual name is Maria Allegra Donn.
Dori: Dori Cooperman is a socialite blogger who is friends with Alex von Furstenberg, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, among others. Daughter of Edwin Cooperman, former Chairman of Travelers Bank Group. Used to work for the famous publicist, Lizzie Grubman, who has represented Jay-Z, Britney Spears, and the Backstreet Boys. Cooperman is known for getting into trouble due to issues with drugs and alcohol.
Dorrit: Dorrit Moussaieff is an Israeli jewellery designer, editor, and businesswoman who married into royalty. Dorrit was the First Lady of Iceland from 2003-2016 after marrying President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson in 2000. Although Moussaieff claims that Epstein only had her phone number because they “lived on the same street in London sometime between 1978 and 1983,” the Daily Mail published a picture of her and her husband, President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, with Ghislaine Maxwell.
Doss, David & Christy Prunier: David Doss has worked as producer and/or executive producer on NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Oprah in Africa, Primetime (with Diane Sawyer), Anderson Cooper 360, and Live PD. Doss now serves as senior VP of news programming for Al Jazeera America. Christy Prunier is a former Hollywood exec and founder of the Willa brand of beauty products.
Douglas, Diandra: Actor Michael Douglas’s first wife.
Dr. Eli Wiesel: Most likely Elie Wiesel, the famous Holocaust survivor and Jewish author of Night**. Wiesel was accused of sexual assault in 2017 (source:**
Drax, Jeremy: Founder of Parham Holdings, a London property operation.
Dreesmann, Bernard: Executive Chairman of Morleys department stores in London.
Driver, Minnie: Famous movie and television actress.
Dubb, Anthony V.: Dub is an investment banker and founder of Indigo Capital, LLC.
Dubbens, Peter: Peter Dubens is a British Internet entrepreneur and investor. Founder of Oakley Capital.
Dubin, Glen: Glenn Dubin is a billionaire hedge fund manager. There is a great article detailing Dubin and his wife’s relationship with Epstein here: Summary of the article: Dubin was the first one accused by Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre. Rinaldo Rizzo, Dubin’s chef, testified that sexual activities occurred between Dubin and a 15-year-old girl, which led to him and his wife quitting as personal chefs of the Dubins. Dubin’s wife, Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, dated Epstein for a long time before she married Dubin. The couple was so close with Epstein that even after Epstein was convicted in 2008 and officially a registered sex offender, they invited him to Thanksgiving dinner and wrote a letter to his probation officer that they trusted him around their children, who were all minors at the time. Multiple sources say Epstein was actually their children’s Godfather, but a spokesman for the couple denies it. Glen Dubin and Epstein helped each other with their business ties, as well. Dubin also had other ties with Epstein (personal friends with Les Wexner and others). Dubin and his wife are definitely major players in the Epstein saga.
Dubin, Louis & Tiffany: Louis Dubin is a real estate developer specializing in upper-middle class condominiums. Has sold luxury condominiums to the likes of Charles Bronfman, who has ties to the Clintons, Wexner, and whose family were in the NXIUM cult. Tiffany Dubin is the stepdaughter of the now deceased billionaire, A. Alfred Taubman, the owner of Sotheby’s, a famous auction house in NYC that often hosts parties for the rich and famous.
Dubin, Peter: Epstein is/was a moron. This is the same Peter Dubens listed just above.
Duchess of York: Former wife of Prince Andrew. Mother of Princess Beatrice and Eugenie. God knows the stories she could tell. Rumor has it her toes still look like prunes to this day.
Ducrey-Giordano, Francisco: Likely the owner of General Vegetables out of Italy. No further info found.
Duesing, Paul: An interior architectural designer who has worked on luxury and personal resorts all around the world. Duesing claims Epstein tried to hire him to work on Epstein’s home on Epstein’s private island back in 2002, but Duesing declined because he didn’t like Epstein. Says he doesn’t even know how Epstein got his number in the first place. Perhaps it was Duesing’s ties with the royal family. He tells stories of getting the Queen Mother drunk, being close with Lord and Lady Lloyd, working on the home of Mohamed Al-Fayed, father of Dodi, Princess Diana’s boyfriend who died in the car crash with her.
Duke of York: Prince Andrew, the toe-sucking pedophile (allegedly), himself. Photographed with victims, Epstein, and Maxwell many times over. His reputation has been completely crushed.
Dunbar Johnson Miranda & Steph: Stephen Dunbar-Johnson is the president, International of the New York Times Company. He oversees the strategic development of the Times Company’s international businesses. He also spent 12 years working at The Financial Times. Miranda Dunbar-Johnson is Stephen’s wife. She serves on The Paris Committee, which “plays a crucial role in increasing Human Rights Watch’s visibility in France.” David de Rothschild is on the honorary committee.
Dunne, Griffin: An actor, producer, and director best known for his role as Jack in An American Werewolf in London (1981).
Dunne, Philip & Dominice: Philip Dunne is a Conservative Party politician who has been a Member of Parliament since 2005. Domenica is his wife.
Duong, Anh: An artist, actress, and model best known for her self-portraits and her portraits of art collectors and influencers. As a model, Duong has worked for Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Donna Karan, Karl Lagerfield, Moschino, Yohji Yamamoto, and others.
Durso Luigi: Luigi d’Urso was a noble and Italian railroad executive who died in 2006. His grandfather was the 9th Duke di Cassano. His mother was the great-granddaughter of George Clymer, one of the founding fathers of the U.S. and signee of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. d’Urso was also married to French designer and model Ines de la Fressange.
Duthie, John & Charlotte: John is primarily a television director based out of London. Duthie also won some poker tournaments against some of the world’s best players in the early 2000s. His wife, Charlotte played a big role in Sir James Goldsmith’s political career as a member of the Referendum Party back in 1997. Goldsmith received 3.5% of the vote in Putney, a constituency located in London.
Dzhabrailou, Umar: Umar Dzhabrailov is a Russian politician and advisor to Sergei Prikhodko, the current First Deputy Head of the Russian Government Office and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in Dmitry Medvedev’s Cabinet. Dzhabrailov was rumored to be romantically linked to Naomi Campbell, supermodel and one of the main suspects in Epstein’s underage sex scandal, in the early 2000s. Dzhabrailov, a supremely wealthy businessman, ran for president in 2000, garnering 0.1% of the vote as an Independent. Dzhabrailov was a partner in Russia’s Radisson Hotel along with American entrepreneur Paul Tatum. After their falling out in 1996, Tatum was shot and killed. Some think Dzhabrailov was responsible while others think he was set up.
Ecclestone, Bernie: A billionaire British business magnate and former chief executive of Formula One Group. Ecclestone has faced some minimal controversies for tax evasion, bribery, and saying that Hitler was a man who was “able to get things done.” Disgustingly enough, Ecclestone, at the age of 89, became a father to his first son, Ace, on July 1, 2020.
Eckon, Paul: Paul Ekon is an international investor and venture capitalist who allegedly fled South Africa in the mid-90s because he was being investigated for links to a gold-smuggling syndicate. Has strong ties to South Africa, including being a personal friend of former president, Thabo Mbeki.
Edsel, Lucinda: No info found.
Edwards, Andrew & Tracy: Unsure. There was an Andrew Edwards and Tracy Edwards on linkedin who have a background in finance, but it is not conclusive whether or not they are the ones listed here or if they are even married. There is also a Tracy Edwards who is a former British sailor who used to work as a Project Manager for Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and now teaches children of Internet safety and online reputation. This would be a far more interesting connection, but I cannot find anyone by the name of Andrew with a relevant relationship to her.
Ellan, Johnathan: No info found. Given his email, likely an employee of Starwood Capital Group, a private investment firm that is widely known for their luxury hotels. Starwood also specializes in real estate and energy.
Elias, Brian: A Miami Beach attorney.
Eliasch, Johan & Amanda: Johan is a Swedish billionaire businessman whose company, Gethal, was fined for alleged deforestation of the Amazon in 2008. The charges were dropped. Amanda is his ex-wife.
Elingworth, Charlie & Amanda: Charles Ellingworth is an author, businessman, and director of several real estate companies, most notably Cadogan Group, which owns most of the property in Chelsea, an affluent area in Central London.
Elizabeth: Not enough info.
Ellenbogen, Eric: An entertainment exec of Classic Media (a subsidiary of Dreamworks) and former CEO of Marvel Enterprises.
Ellingworth, Mr. & Mrs.: Charlie and Amanda listed just above.
Elliot, Ben: Current Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party in the UK and nephew of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (Prince Charles’s current wife). Elliot is also co-founder of Quintessentially Group, a hospitality group that specializes in leisure, travel, and tourism. Epstein has several ties to this group. Elliot’s spokesman has said that Elliot never met Epstein. However, Elliot has been a dinner guest of Ghislaine Maxwell in New York.
Elliott, Gail & Joe Coffey: Gail Elliott is an English fashion designer and former model. Joe Coffey is her husband and co-owner of their fashion brand, Little Joe Woman.
Ellison, Mandy & Ralph: Ralph Ellison is a pharmaceutical executive and investor. He was CEO of DOR BioPharma Inc., now known as Soligenix Inc. a company focused on treating rare diseases. Soligenix came under scrutiny two years ago when they were accused of ripping off stockholders.
Elwes, Anabel: Not much information to be found on Annabel Elwes, although it is clear that she runs in elite circles. Back in 1997, Elwes organized the Hong Kong handover party in order to aid the Hong Kong Cancer Fund. Guests included Anthony de Rothschild (eldest son of Evelyn de Rothschild); James Hewitt (former cavalry officer who revealed that he had an affair with Princess Diana while she was with Prince Charles. Possibly the biological father of Prince Harry, if rumors are to be believed); actress Isla Fisher of Wedding Crashers fame; socialite Tamara Beckwith; and Bassam Debs (listed in the Panama Papers).
Epstein, Ed: An investigative journalist and friend of Epstein. Denies any knowledge of Epstein’s penchant for underage girls.
Erba Noona: Noona Smith-Petersen is a public relations executive who has worked for Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Calvin Klein, and Tod’s. She now owns her own PR firm. Noona is married to Enrico Erba, who is a client manager for Giorgio Armani.
Espirito, Santo, Manuel and Ros: Manuel Espirito Santo is likely an heiemployee of the Portuguese banking cartel, Espirito Santo, which received a major bailout in 2014.
Estlin, Jean-Marc: Jean-Marc Etlin is a banker and current partner in CVC Capital Partners, one of the world’s largest private equity and investment advisory firms.
Estrada, Juffali, Christina: Christina Estrada is a former Pirelli Calendar model and ex-wife (2001-2014) of Saudi billionaire heir and businessman, Walid Juffali. She received a £75 million settlement after their divorce.
Evans, Chris: Not the Captain America Chris Evans, but the UK television host and radio DJ. Evans has been rumored to often “flash” people at work (source: The BBC has also refused to investigate claims from an ex-Top Gear presenter that Evans “grabbed her breasts and touched himself.” When Evans was 35, he married 18-year-old pop star Billie Piper. They eventually separated and divorced years later.
Eveheart, Angie: Angie Everheart was one of the most well-known models of the 1990s. She has accused Harvey Weinstein of masturbating in front of her.
Faber, David: Due to the London area phone number listed, this is likely the former Conservative member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. His maternal grandfather, Harold Macmillan, was Prime Minister of the UK from 1957-1963. As of 2010, Faber was to become head of Summer Fields, his former prep school. Summer Fields, an exclusive all-boys prep school, has come under scrutiny in the past. Tom Parker Bowles, son of Camilla Duchess of Cornwall (Prince Charles’s wife), has claimed that Summer Fields was “a hotbed of the sorts of things that are coming out now,” according to this article ( from the Daily Mail published in 2014. Parker Bowles went on to claim that one master would join naked boys in the shower.
Faber, Sally & Brook Johnson: Charles “Brook” Johnson is a millionaire UK businessman and polo player. His wife, Sally Faber was a weather girl in the 1980s and former wife of former David Faber (listed above). They live next door to Prince Charles in Highgrove.
Faibairn, Charlotte: Charlotte Fairbairn is an author who has worked in the arts, politics, and journalism. Most importantly, she is the eldest daughter of Sir Nicholas Fairbairn (1933-1995), a Scottish politician and former legal adviser to Margaret Thatcher, who was posthumously accused of child molestation and sexual assault against an adult female. Sir Nicholas’s name was allegedly on a list of VIPs who attended parties at an underage boys brothel in the 1980s with Cyril Smith, another British government official and alleged serial sex offender. More info can be found on both here: and here:
Fairfax, The Hon Rupert: Hon. Rupert Alexander James Fairfax is the son of Thomas Brian McElvie Fairfax, 13th Lord of Fairfax of Cameron. Rupert is currently Managing Director of Fairfax Saddles, which was awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2018. This is the highest business award in the UK.
Fairweather, Natasha: A well-known literary agent who was the literary editor of The Moscow Times and writereviewer for the London Times and The Economist.
Fairweather, Ms. Catherine: Former travel editor at Harper’s Bazaar and Porter. Married to photojournalist Don McCullin. McCullin co-wrote The Palestinians with Jonathan Dimbleby, another Epstein associate listed above.
Fairweather, Ambassador & Lady: Sir Patrick Fairweather is a retired British diplomat. He worked as Ambassador to Angola (1985-1987), Italy (1992-1996), and Albania (1992-1996). Lady Maria Fairweather was a linguist and professional interpreter who once helped out Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin when the official interpreter disappeared at a crucial moment just before the commencement of the G7 Summit.
Fakhre, Armado & Jasmine: Amado Fakhre is the British-Argentinian Founder and former CEO of Coral Capital, a Havana-based investment group best known for its joint venture partner in Havana’s upscale Saratoga Hotel. Fakhre was arrested for corruption and Coral Capital was forced to shut its doors in Havana. Fakhre was interrogated for 20 months in a Cuban safe house and eventually got sentenced to 5-7 years for bribery, but did not have to serve any time. No explanation has been given. Jasmine is his wife.
Fakhre, Danny & Christine: Danny Fakhre is the Chairman of Kochii Oil out of Australia. Christiane is his wife.
Fall, Meredith: No info found.
Fallah, Mrs: Likely Gina Fallah, mother of Christina Fallah. Gina’s father was Reza Fallah, an Iranian businessman and political advisor.
Fallah, Ms. Christina & Jon Robe: Christina Fallah is an interior designer and owner of Christina Fallah designs.
Falletans, Olivier de: Managing partner at Bryan, Olivier, & Co., a mid-market investment bank in Technology. Olivier comes from a family of nobility dating back to at least the 13th century.
Fanjul, Pepe: Jose “Pepe” Fanjul is a billionaire businessman involved in sugar and real estate. Vice Chairman and President of Flo-Sun. “Pepe” is a Republican. He was one of the largest contributors to George W. Bush’s campaign, is an ardent supporter of Marco Rubio, and co-hosted a large fundraiser for Donald Trump. His older brother, Alfonso Fanjul Jr., is a Democrat and was a co-chair of Bill Clinton’s Florida campaign, further proving that POLITICAL PARTISANSHIP IS A CROCK OF SHIT.
Faulkner, Terence & Cornelia: Terence Faulkner is Chairman of Leathams PLC, a London-based food distributor. Cornelia is Terence’s wife. She is Director of Leathams and a specialist decorator.
Feeley, Fiona: An interior designer at Atelier Designs.
Fekkai, Frederic: A French celebrity hairstylist.
Feldman, Andrew: Orthopaedic surgeon in New York City.
Felix, Helena: Not much to be found on Helena. She was possibly the director of an investment firm called Edenhaven Limited. Her husband, Peter, was an oral surgeon. He passed away in 2011.
Fell, David & Anne: Nothing much found here. After a lot of digging, it turns out that David Fell lives in an apartment at 1177 Avenue of the Americas, a real estate holding of Larry Silverstein, owner of the World Trade Center who (allegedly) took out insurance on the WTC just before 9/11.
Ferragamo, Leonardo & Beatrice: Leonardo is the son of Salvatore Ferragamo, the creator of Salvatore Ferragamo, S.p.A., an Italian luxury goods company specializing in shoes, leather goods, and watches.
Ferranti, Hugo: Hugo de Ferranti is an art dealer. He is also a Director for Action on Addiction, a UK-based charity for people with drug and alcohol addiction issues. Kate Middleton has served as patron of Action on Addiction since 2012.
Ferry, Brian: Bryan Ferry is a singesongwriter and the owner of Studio One recording studio in London. In the 1970s, he was the frontman for the British rock band, Roxy Music.
Fiennes, Martin: The heir apparent to the Baron Saye and Sele, a title of peerage in England. Lives in Broughton Castle. Cousin of actor Ralph Fiennes.
Fiennes, Martin: Same person.
Fiennes, Ralph: Famous actor. Cousin of Martin Fiennes. The fact that Epstein knows so many people in this family is troubling.
Fiennes, Suzzana: A British artist who works exclusively with Prince Charles. Susannah is the twin sister of Martin Fiennes and cousin of actor Ralph.
Fifer, Chuck: Not positive, but could be actor Chuck Pfeiffer, who is a close friend of Oliver Stone and was in Wall Street with Michael Douglas. However, it could be someone else. Pfeiffer didn’t have much of an acting career.
Figg, Christopher & Charlotte: Christopher Figg is a movie producer and CEO of Piccadilly Pictures. Figg is best known for producing the first 3 Hellraiser movies, Trainspotting, Dog Soldiers, Heidi, Coriolanus (directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes), We Need to Talk About Kevin, and many others. Charlotte is his wife.
Finch Charles: A failed director who became a talent agent for William Morris. Oversees a private equity finance unit called Finch Asia and is Chairman of Dean & Deluca (66 stores nationwide). Most notably, Charles Finch is known to host extravagant, A-list laden parties at Cannes, home of the world-famous film festival, pre-Oscar parties, and pre-BAFTA parties. There is an in-depth article from the Hollywood Reporter about Finch and his Cannes parties here ( Regulaoccasional guests of his Cannes parties included: Harvey Weinstein, Rush Hour director Brett Ratner (accused of sexual abuse by 6 women, including actress Olivia Munn and actress/model Natasha Henstridge), Mick Jagger, and Netflix bigwig Ted Sarandos. Finch’s pre-Oscar and pre-BAFTA parties have attracted the likes of Jeff Bezos, Robert De Niro, Sofia Coppola, Pedro Almodovar, Margot Robbie, Rashida Jones (daughter of Quincy Jones, music mogul who has been accused of nefarious sexual endeavors), Tracee Ellis Ross, and others Finch is the son of famous actor Peter Finch (A-list actor from the 1960s-1970s, best known for his role in the movie Network, for which he won an Oscar for Best Actor) and Yolande Turner (actress). A deeper look into Finch’s parties and connections would definitely prove interesting.
Finklestein, Howard: Finkelstein is a public defender in Broward County, Florida. In Florida (and some other states), public defenders are elected, not appointed.
Firyal Princess: Jerusalem-born Jordanian princess who was once married to Prince Muhammad bin Talal. Firyal was named an UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1992. Princess Firyal launched the International Hope Foundation in 1994 for the benefit of homeless and street children. Firyal holds positions with several museums (The Louvre, The Tate, MOMA, and Guggenheim), as well as positions with Columbia University, New York Public Library, United Nation Association, and International Rescue Committee.
Fisher, Dan: Given the address listed (Trump Tower), it is possible that this is a former lobbyist ( and current Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Visitors Office, however I am unable to confirm this information with 100% certainty.
Flick Mook: Likely Friedrich Christian Flick, known as Mick Flick. The Flick family was a billionaire coal and steel conglomerate that was accused of war crimes during the Holocaust. Flick’s grandfather financially supported the Nazi Party and used 48,000 forced laborers from the concentration camps, many of whom died due to the conditions. Grandfather Flick was found guilty of war crimes at Nuremberg and served 3 years of his 7-year sentence. Mick (Mook) sold most of his holdings in the ‘80s and retired a billionaire.
Foman, Bobby & Jeanette: Robert Q. Fomon currently works as a Managing Director for Morgan Stanley. He specializes in wealth management. He used to be an Assistant Director at Bear Stearns (owned by Chase), one of the investment banks that went under as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. His father is. Robert M. Fomon, Jeanette is his wife. D-F continued below....
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