The Creative Business of Music Making

Gábor Takács-NagyResearchers from Manchester Business School in conjunction with the Manchester Camerata Chamber Orchestra are showing that making music has more in common with the principles of business leadership than is generally imagined

Manchester Business School and the Manchester Camerata occupy facing buildings in the heart of the city and opposite the Commonwealth Games swimming arena. The Camerata shares the magnificent facilities of The Royal Northern College of Music. The college and business school are close enough for friendships to form in their respective eating facilities. From such chance encounters, business academics and musicians are investigating what they can learn from one another in the fields of making music and developing management and leadership skills.

Orchestras and organizations alike

At one level it is obvious. Orchestras and organizations rely on the guidance of leaders. Great orchestras and businesses are also often noted for their charismatic leaders.

“When you look more deeply you see other similarities” explained Camerata’s chief executive Bob Riley. “An orchestra has leaders of its various instrumental groupings with the first violinist having broader responsibilities. Management theory is becoming increasingly interested in the way such distributed leadership operates. Now the same sorts of ideas seem to apply to the workings of an orchestra”.

The golden period

A press release from the Camerata indicates its innovative approach to music making and how it is entering into a golden period of music making.

Manchester Camerata is entering a golden period under the inspirational guidance of the renowned Hungarian musician Gábor Takács-Nagy [pictured above]. The Camerata’s achievements were recently recognised in a generous loan of a 1709 Stradivarius by benefactor Jonathan Moulds, President of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s European business. The instrument will be played by leader Giovanni Guzzo while on extended loan to the Manchester Camerata. Only a handful of orchestras world-wide are privileged to have a Stradivarius of this quality for their leader to play.

The appointment of Giovanni Guzzo alongside Takács-Nagy has created a dynamic music-making partnership which, alongside the outstanding musicians already in the Camerata’s ranks, has taken the orchestra’s playing to another level.

Watch this space

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