Y’s Men of Westport/Weston

Minutes of Speaker- PAUL BOGAEV

October 15, 2015


When Paul first tells strangers that he is a Conductor, he quickly has to add but not on Amtrak or MetroNorth.  He is an accomplished musician and renowned orchestra conductor with a wonderful sense of humor and stage presence.  He studied at Cornell and Juillard, where he learned the three keys to conducting:


Technique, Performance and Expression.


To aide his expression, he took acting lessons from the same coach who worked with Marlon Brando.  One of his first opportunities was to conduct the score by Carmine Coppola for the 1955 movie, “Napoleon”.  The Melbourne Philharmonic at the time was filled with the dregs of musicians, whom he shamed into a wonderful performance.

He laughs at an early performance of “Deck the Halls” at Radio city Music Hall, where he was trying to impress the audience rather than lead the orchestra, and let the baton sail out  of his hand right into the tuba.  Learning as he preformed, he went on to “Kats” for Andrew Lloyd Webber, where he acted out a cop to motivate the orchestra.  He did Phantom, Sunset Boulevard, where he had to teach the lead singer to speak softly.  He succeeded in getting Glen Close to belt out a song like Ethel Merman.  He personified her dog, Fluffy,  to get Renee Zellweger to perform in the studio.


Paul then switched gears and performed a song for all ages, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.  Then he performed a fun song he wrote about Russian composers.


Q & A


Q. What is the difference between hip hop and rap?

A. Hip Hop has a beat and Rap is just words.


Q. Who is your model conductor?  

A. Horowitz, Rubinstein and Bernstein.  Great conductors can combine math and feeling.


Q. What is your favorite thing to do?

A. “Well actually, I have grown fond of speaking to groups like yours.”