Archetypes: David Robertson

 In Culture, Interviews

David Robertson is the Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and is a world-renowned conductor. David shares his views on the importance of music, the love for his family and his passion for life.


What is your current mood or state of mind?
Pleasantly stressed.

What makes you happy?
Simple things that are intense. Weather, food, a child’s reaction, a piece of music, a sunset.

What is your idea of misery?
Seeing other people suffer and not being able to do anything about it.

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Egg and cheese quesadilla and a gallon of coffee.

What’s one word that describes you?

What trait do you value most in others?

What’s your favorite occupation?

What’s your favorite color?
Nautical twilight, when the sun is 12 degrees below the horizon.

What is your favorite food?
Everything except for okra.

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would that be?
Ella Fitzgerald.

What vice do you most tolerate in others?
Moral misguidedness.

What talent do you wish you had?

Who is your favorite author?
At the moment, Proust.

Who is your favorite musician?

My wife, the pianist Orli Shaham.

What excites you?
Catching someone’s enthusiasm for something.

What do you consider a turn off?

What do you love?
The fragile miracle that allowed us to be here.

What do you hate?

Lack of charity towards others.

What’s something you want to learn?

How to make sure I don’t let anything slip past in any moment.

What is your personal motto?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

In another life, you’d be:
I think we only get one shot.

What is your current obsession?

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?


What’s on your “bucket list”?
Visiting the Himalayas, seeing all my boys through college and seeing to it that all children have access to practical musical instruction.

Personal hero:
Lincoln because of his combination of purpose, dedication and relentless diplomacy.

If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what would you say?
Don’t worry, it will work out alright.

‘Archetypes’ are off-the-cuff interviews with St. Louis’ most inspiring, well-known personalities based on the 19th century parisian parlor game known as the Proust Questionaire.


1036_443.jpgMusic director of the St. Louis Symphony David Robertson


Photo credit: Photos by Wesley Law, Art Direction by David Hsia

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