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Orchestral conductors flit from country to country, sometimes holding two or three jobs at once. In the golden age of conducting - the era of Mahler, Nikisch, Furtwangler and Toscanini - a music director worked with the same orchestra, creating a personality that could be recognised at the fall of the first downbeat.

Norman Lebrecht examines the history of "The Maestro Myth" and suggests that conducting could be in danger of decline.

Producer Daniel Snowman