Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images Move out of the way because Beyonce is playing…
- Posted on May 16th 2008 6:00PM by James Sullivan
The fill-in maestro was actually a lifelike robot built by Honda Motors (its name stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility). Wilkins isn't actually in danger of losing his job anytime soon. The robot can't react to fluctuations in pitch or tempo, at least not yet; it can only imitate the movements of a videotaped human conductor. Still, conductors might want to watch their backs. For centuries they have had their usefulness questioned by certain members of their audience. Conducting "rests on the use and abuse of power for personal benefit," wrote the author of 'The Maestro Myth.' "Whether such heroism is desirable in music, or a necessary evil, remains open to debate."
Before a master class with cellist Yo-Yo Ma for students in the city's dwindling music programs, ASIMO led the orchestra in a performance of 'The Impossible Dream' from 'The Man of La Mancha.' To the delight of the students, the talking robot booted a soccer ball and busted a few moves. Roll over, Arthur Fiedler!
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