006 – Johannes Fritzsch – The Maestro

Orchestral Conductor

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Johannes Fritzsch is a rockstar of the orchestral world.

Last year he finshed his tenure as the chief conductor of the Queensland Sympanthy Orchestra – where he oversaw the most challenging time in their long history – a merger with the Queensland philharmonic orchestra.

In his role as chief conductor he very much sees himself as a leader of people.

Johannes was born in Meissen East Germany. He grew up, was educated and began his professional career under communist rule.

This and his 35 years experience performing with orchestras and opera companies all over the world has shaped his approach to leadership.

In this episode to the Team Guru Podcast Johannes gives us amazing insight into the way a professional orchestra puts together their performances and recruits their members.

But most of all – he takes us deep wthin is own personal philisophies on leading people and producing beautiful music.


Lessons Learned

Here’s what I took from the episode:

  • Musicians are expected to come to rehearsals completely prepared as individuals
  • Over the past 50 years, development in leadership style of orchestras has paralleled leadership development broadly – away from a command and control towards a more collaborative, personable style
  • The conductor of an orchestra does not have a relationship with all 80-100 musicians. There is a structure similar to that of a GM and senior leadership team
  • It’s important to communicate with your team as you’re making decisions – going through the process. Don’t wait until the end, when all the decisions are made. Don’t be afraid to share things that are not finalised
  • As a leader don’t aim to be loved, aim to be respected for the person you are and what you can do
  • Respect members of your team for their individuals knowledge and talents and include them in the decision making process as much as possible

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