What are the Slovenian conductor’s big plans for Australia’s smallest state orchestra?

You’ve conducted the Tasmanian Symphony only twice, yet were chosen to succeed Sebastian Lang- Lessing as chief conductor. You must have made quite an impression!

Sometimes the chemistry between conductor and orchestra just happens and it’s not always easy to explain why. Somehow it really gelled when we played Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. I had the feeling the piece was performed all in one breath. And what I really remember is the silence: I knew I could hold a fermata for as long as I wanted. The silence was simply alive. When silence is surrounded by music it can be as powerful as the music itself. To be honest, I’ve had maybe four or five concerts in my life when it’s felt really right to stop the music and just let the silence ring out. That Bartók concert in Hobart was one of them.

And the Concerto for Orchestra is one hell of a test for an orchestra – did it help you find out what the Tasmanian Symphony can do? 

Yes, it’s a difficult piece for all the sections, but...