Mental Floss

On Music: The Maestro Quiz

David K. Israel
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I've always been fascinated by orchestras and how each one has its own personality. It's impossible, for example, to mistake the Philadelphia Orchestra for the Russian National Orchestra, especially if they're both playing a Shostakovich symphony. This is partly due to traditions and customs, but also has a lot to do with the conductors that helped bring each orchestra to prominence.

Philadelphia has always been known for its lush string section and, at least in the past, would often slow bigger pieces down a little so the strings could really open up. Other orchestras, like the Boston Pops, largely due to its association with Maestro/composer John Williams, have become synonymous with film scores, especially of the Spielberg variety.

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So.. as already noted, many orchestras have become connected with famous conductors—maestros who've helped shape not only the repertoire the orchestra has become known for, but the actual sound. Here's a new quiz I put together where you have to match 10 of the most famous orchestras with 10 conductors who helped put them on the musical map. Get out those air-batons and give 'em a tap, tap, tap. And then come on back and let us know if it was too easy.

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