A Lesson in Leadership: From Conductor Riccardo Chailly.


Just picture this…..

You’re sitting in front of a full audience and in front of the Netherland Symphony Orchestra ready to play for a concert. You hear the first few notes and within seconds you realise that you’ve practiced the wrong piece!

That’s exactly what happened to acclaimed Portugese pianist, Maria João Pires during a packed lunchtime concert in 2009.

Within seconds, she puts her hand to her head and looks up to the conductor Riccardo Chailly and smiles to herself in disbelief.

Then she looks up again and while the orchestra continue to play the introduction, she explains to Chailly that she was expecting to hear another Concerto and she hadn’t practiced this piece. She looks devastated and doesn’t even look close to being able to play.

She turns around and looks at the violinists and smiles a sad, lonely smile.

As Chailly continues to conduct he looks down at her and tells her that she played it last season and says while he continues to conduct “You know it so well!” as he smiles at her with with a confident, warm believable smile.

And the ending to this story….

Take a look at the video- it’s a must watch for any musician and it’s a real life lesson for us all in believing that anything is possible if you put your mind to it!


  • By Lai Veikoso Reply

    When I watched this, My heart started to beat so loud and fast and I could feel the stress she felt at that point and time.. It was a nail biting moment.. But she turned the moment into a miraculous one. WOW!! Truly amazing…the feelings that make with it just was out of this world and beyond expression and that is what I call Genius and Talent.

  • By Shaji Reply

    Thank you very much for sharing motivational video…I have shared it with my team. Indeed, a different kind of lesson to learn from Music.

  • By Petrik Reply

    I bet the audience never even knew there was a problem.

    She knew it, she just needed to recall it and she did that so wonderfully.

  • By Sally Reply

    It says the video is blocked in my country (USA) due to copyright. Strange. The story is neat though.

  • By Chris Reply

    I was excited to watch this video and share it with my students, but got the following message when clicking on the link. I live in the United States. If you know of another link, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
    “This video contains content from SME, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”

  • By Samantha Reply

    Isn’t this what teachers did for us when we were learning, and what we hope to get our students to do ie perform beyond their own perceptions of their capabilities?

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