Lockhart Goes Latin
The Bostons Pops Hits the Salsa With The Latin Album
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: An Interview with Keith Lockhart
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• Latin American Music
• Latin American Music and Beyond
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Paula: Do you often look towards music of other cultures?

Keith: One of the big challenges with the Pops orchestra programming is we are a crossover sort of orchestra and looking at what we can cross over to and do honor both to the original and to us - in other words, not everything translates equally well. There is not likely to be a Boston Pops rap album in the near future, for example. One of the best things for us in these days of very unorchestral sounds in pop music, a lot of techno, that sort of thing, one of the easiest ways for us to translate is to follow some of these World Music trends that are happening because a lot of them are acoustically-based and the World of music is becoming very, very small. It's not just a small, tiny group of people with Irish ancestry who listen to Celtic music anymore. You just look at the success of Riverdance to see that. So a lot of times we are eagerly awaiting to see what sort of music the world will discover next and see what particular stamp we can put on it. It's not just a matter of mimicking. When we did the Celtic album a couple of years ago my comment eas that I didn't want to do an album that the Chieftans could do better; I wanted to do an album that went beyond where they would go, that went to different places but also included some things that people hear and immediately say "Oh, that's what Celtic music sound like," whether that's Riverdance or Van Morrison, both of whom were on that album.

Paula: What kinds of music do you listen to?

Keith Lockhart Keith: Boy, most of the time when I am away from the podium I don't listen to music at all because I listen to so much music that it drives me up the creek [laughing]. You really can get sick of it; you just need silence to balance it out. I listen to things pretty much all over the map. I'm pretty eclectic which is probably one thing which has worked out well for me in this particular job. Obviously my roots are in the classical music world and my tastes in classical music are pretty eclectic too, but outside of that I love to listen to jazz especially as a live art form; I love to listen to a lot of contemporary singer/songwriters, people like Shawn Colvin, Melissa Etheridge. I'm a little old for what is on the Top 40 charts these days but I suppose a lot of us think that, and frankly, for the core of our audience it's not necessary to be looking at who the 14 year olds are necessarily buying into. And I listen to the music I grew up with; I'm 41 and I grew up with The Who and Led Zeppelin as well as the Eagles and Simon and Garfunkle - the stuff that is now on the nostalgia stations.

Paula: How do you divide your time as a conductor between Boston and Utah?

Keith: Well, I fly a lot! It's about equal: I spend about 17 weeks with the Utah Symphony during the course of the year and maybe 20 weeks in Boston. I have a house in each place. They divide themselves rather well from a logistical point of view because the Pops, with the exception of the holiday period, is essentially May through July. All of our recording, all of our TV shows, and 60 concerts happen in the May through July period. Most "normal" traditional orchestra situations are more or less September through May. So I spend the predominance of my time September through May with the exception of December in Utah and I spend most of the summer in Boston.

Photos courtesy of talkmeup.com

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