Later, more seriously, Dudamel asked if Blanchett had any interest in becoming a real conductor. “This is not an interview of that sort!” she said with a laugh. “But no, it was extraordinary…. When we had to prepare on Zoom, our conducting consultant, Natalie Murray Beale, said, ‘Nothing is going to prepare you for the experience of you giving the downbeat, and that sound coming back at you and through you.’ It was an unforgettable, life-changing experience. I mean, you get to do that every day.”
Blanchett and Field repeatedly turned the tables on their interviewer, fascinated by his musical experiences and decorated, nearly 14-year career leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
“You have to feel prepared, but you cannot predict what is going to happen,” Dudamel said of his work on the podium. “That is something that you don’t learn in a school of conducting. You learn the factual things, you learn the structure, the interpretation, the history, but no teacher will tell you what is going to happen there. You felt that.”