From: Chicago Tribune
By: Michael Roddy, Reuters
VERBIER Switzerland (Reuters) – French-American conductor Marc Minkowski loves music and his second passion is horses, so he is combining the two at a concert that will open the annual Mozart Week festival in Salzburg next year.
Nor is this going to be like an opera where someone leads a horse onstage and it stands there munching from a feed bag. Minkowski’s horses will be performing inside Salzburg’s 17th-century former “rock riding school”, which was later transformed into a concert hall, to the music of Mozart’s cantata “David Penitente” on the festival’s opening day.
“The horse is a naturally musical animal, his rhythm is already musical and he’s the best interpreter, the best dancer, you can find – of course with a decent rider,” Minkowski, 52, told Reuters at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland where he conducted a rousing version of Beethoven’s opera “Fidelio” last weekend – without any four-legged stars.
Minkowski, who has staged a horse-music event at a festival he runs in the spring on the Ile de Re off the west coast of France, is being aided and abetted in his project at the Mozart Week, where he is the artistic director, by the French horse-trainer extraordinaire who goes by the single name of Bartabas.