Itay Talgam

Conductor of MAESTRO Leadership program, MAESTRO Leadership

Session: How great conductors sell their ideas
16:20 - 17:05, April 8th 2024, Strategy
Let’s put you on the podium. Please take the conductor’s baton: You are the Maestro.

The score on your desk contains the outline and instructions for very complex sound construction. Its successful presentation to the customers – your audience – depends on its perfect execution through a shared interpretation of the piece. The whole orchestra has to share a unified concept, a clear process, and an all-embracing meaning.

You have 100 musicians in front of you; each knows something about the task ahead,  has studied  their part, and formed an opinion about it. These individual ideasneed to be coherent.You have to have 100 or so creative artists to blend into a cohesive flow of sounds and you have very little time to change that because Orchestra rehearsal is expensive. You have an even shorter time in terms of the span of attention of blasé employees: they all played with other, more famous conductors. They have very little patience for you.

But they are your instrument operators, your Expert technicians, your collaborators in Art, and your music-loving Fellow human beings.

How do you sell your ideas to them appealingly, dense with information yet clear and directly applicable?

You have to speak to the professional knowledge embedded in their minds and bodies,  their intellect,  and their instincts and emotions. You  must talk about yourself, the music, and the other players.


There are many ways, as there are many successful conductors. We’ll be looking at some remarkable conductors in a quest for some answers.


Itay Talgam is an orchestral conductor turned into a ‘conductor of people’ – be it in government, academia, business, education, therapy – anywhere the creation of human harmony through cooperation is desired. He teaches leadership to Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, universities, and at conferencesworldwide, including TED, Google’s Zeitgeist, and the World Economic Forum at Davos. Itay’s talks, based on continuous dialogue, have been experienced directly or online by millions of participants and viewers. His book, The Ignorant Maestro, was published in May 2015 by Portfolio / Penguin. Itay sees himself as a disciple of his great teacher, Leonard Bernstein. His international conducting debut took place in 1987 when he was chosen and presented by Maestro Bernstein in a special concert, conducting the Orchestre de Paris, Bernstein himself conducting the second half of the same concert. Since that highly successful performance, Talgam has conducted many orchestras around the world. A native of Tel-Aviv, Itay Talgam received his Artist Diploma in conducting from the Jerusalem Rubin Academy. He then studied in France, Italy, and the US. He is also a graduate of General Philosophy studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.