A Furtwängler On Every Street Corner

I’m a sucker for Improv Everywhere. They’re a blast. (And their mission statement moonlights as a description of The Susanka Seven. “Prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places?” I’m living that every day.)

But their latest offering hits new heights of awesome, even for them.

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For our latest mission, we put a Carnegie Hall orchestra in the middle of New York City and placed an empty podium in front of the musicians with a sign that read, “Conduct Us.” Random New Yorkers who accepted the challenge were given the opportunity to conduct this world-class orchestra. The orchestra responded to the conductors, altering their tempo and performance accordingly.

Wonderful stuff, especially the way the troupe alters its tempo and mood in response to the conductors. I realize that “I am Sokoloff!” or “I am Stokowski” doesn’t have quite the pop-cultural cachet of its cinematic counterpart. Not yet, anyway. But I do know that my life-long dream of becoming a conductor just got a whole lot closer.

HT to Laughing Squid, and images courtesy of the Improv Everywhere site itself.

About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.

  • Maggie Goff

    Delightful!! Thank you, Joseph!

  • Dale

    What good fun, and smiles all around!

    Thanks for sharing this, Joseph. I will have to look up other Improv Everywhere videos.

  • greggwon

    What a fabulous way to introduce music, performance and musicianship to the public at large. The children who participated are the ones we need to target with such awesome opportunities to get a perspective on the arts which includes their participation. I just smiled!


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