We all know HELLO STAGE’s favorite color! What’s yours?
My favorite color is Turquoise.
What was the best advice a teacher ever gave you?
Several of my major teachers gave me their
I'll mention a very practical one which
was bestowed upon me by my conducting teacher
Maestro Mendi Rodan:
"A musician should not be disturbed by any distraction".
During the conducting lesson he used to open the windows of
our classroom so that the sound from the saxophones
practice room would enter the class.
By enforcing this habit, it made me adjust myself to
disturbing noise during rehearsals or even performances.
How has your practice changed with time?
My practicing, which is actually analyzing
and memorizing the score, is mainly in front of the score,
on the piano or on the desk (many times also on the road –
on buses, trains and airplanes).
Throughout the years the more scores I have in command,
it becomes faster and easier to analyze and memorize them,
as well as planning better for future rehearsals.
What do you think is the most important trait of a successful artist in today’s modern world?
I would like to believe that the professional
musical ability should always be the most
important trait of a successful artist.
Nowadays I feel there are too many superficial
factors that create famous artists.
How much time do you spend every day on Facebook, twitter, and which other ways do you use to promote yourself?
I don't have Facebook.
I spend a
few minutes here and
there when I feel I need to take a break from
my work and connect to the international musical scene.
You juggle conducting a few orchestras and hold a teaching position as well, not to mention taking care of your family, what are your best time management tips?
I learned that the best way to manage time is
to do the most important things first,
and not to delay assignments.
Once while reading about Shostakovitch
I learned that he said: "I feel freer when I receive more rules in Fugue".
This makes me think about drawing a parallel to my case.
Often I end up going to sleep not earlier than 2 am,
getting up at around 7, and sometimes even
waking up for my baby in the middle of the night.
Of course I couldn't manage without the
great help of my amazing husband,
who is himself a conductor and conducting
teacher at the Tel Aviv University.
My first challenge as a mother of two little ones
was keeping my concert schedule with the
Haifa Symphony three weeks after giving birth to Shira.
The second one was on a five-week tour of China,
myself and my husband had engagements conducting
We took our 2 daughters with us
(and left our 3 pets in good hands).
I cannot say it was easy, especially when our
baby Shira got sick exactly on the week
I was working with the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra.
Once I was late for a morning rehearsal in order to
find a doctor for Shira. The orchestra members were
very considerate and also helped me with finding the
My motto is: Never give up your career,
but family comes first.
Does it bother you that people are asking you if being a woman conductor is still seen as the exception?
What bothers me is that this kind of question actually
reflects the reality.
Although I feel there is somewhat
of an evolution since I started as a young conductor
around 20 years ago,
the glass ceiling is still strongly there.
I am sure there are many orchestras in the world
that have never engaged a woman conductor.
I believe the majority of classical music concert
goers are much more open minded than many of the managers.
Barbara Hunnigan recently stated in an Interview fro the Guardian that she prefers to conduct in the following attire;
..."I’ve worn a sleeveless dress to conduct. It’s something I can move in."
What are your thoughts on the matter?
We woman conductors have the privilege to choose
our style of attire on the podium just because there
is no tradition for us…!
I am still looking for the perfect
outfit that I will feel best with.
I do agree with Barbara that it is indeed important to
feel free, and not let your outfit disturb you.
Personally, I feel comfortable with a feminine suit.
Tell us about the best place to eat in Tel Aviv!
Home! Since my husband is the best cook!
There is also a small Italian home-made pasta restaurant
They make amazing Ravioli! It is located
on 27 Ibn Gvirol Street which is centrally located and a 2
minute walk from Tel Aviv's main concert hall.
Talia Ilan is Music Director of the
"Israel Stage Orchestra",
Music Director of the "Campus" Symphony Orchestra
Ramat Hasharon, Guest conductor with The Israel
Chamber Orchestra, The Israel Sinfonietta Be'er Sheva,
The New Haifa Symphony Orchestra,
the Ashdod Symphony Orchestra and the
Ra'anana Symphonette Orchestra. She is also
the conductor of the "Reflex" ensemble of
contemporary music (NY – Tel Aviv). You can follow and book Talia Ilan on Hello Stage
and on her website!