I recently sat down for an interview on Podium Time, hosted by conductors Jeremy Cuebas and Luke Lyons. It’s a terrific podcast that covers all aspects of the conducting profession and I highly recommend it to conductors and musicians of all stripes.


The episode was titled “Take off the ‘Maestro’ Hat and Get Your Hands Dirty,” From the Podium Time show notes:

In this episode we talk with Jordan Randall Smith about how Symphony Number One reaches an audience thousands of times the size of their local community, making the most lemonade from your lemons, and how you can combine artistic and business models to form an ensemble.

During the interview, we discussed topics such as the early conducting career, building a new project that fits with your local community,


In the sample below, we talk about the foundational structure of Symphony Number One. In particular we talk about attempting to forge a model of what a 21st century chamber orchestra should become: more focused on contemporary music than they currently are. Further, we talk about how a season program is something of a moral document: it says something about your priorities as a conductor. The phrase “a budget is a moral document” is often used in the context of politics. How a person or an organization spends its money speaks to what it cares about. And what is a season program, after all, if not a musical budget? I used Symphony Number One’s September concert with the music of Schoenberg and James Lee III as an example of our programming model:

Full Episode

To listen to the complete episode, click the button below, use the embedded player, or search for “Podium Time” wherever you get your podcasts. And, make sure to follow Podium Time on Facebook and Twitter.

Jordan Randall Smith is the Music Director of Symphony Number One.