Conductors=Greedy Egotists?

Violinist Nigel Kennedy has earned (cultivated?) the image of “bad boy” of classical music for decades now. He’s been something of a bomb-thrower in the past, too, and that hasn’t changed.

In a recent interview with the London Times, Kennedy decries conductors as greedy egotists:

“How many will develop an orchestra rather than feeding off its achievements? They’re straight off for the dollar. Round the corner to get a better job. All they’re interested in is strutting about, wielding a bit of power.

“A conductor can galvanise the troops and evolve an artistic programme and identity of style. If they only give five or ten weeks a year [to an orchestra], how can they do that?”

I must say Kennedy’s own ego strength seems pretty high, but I wonder if he has a point. Any thoughts?

P.S. Julie Amacher recently reviewed a recent Nigel Kennedy CD on New Classical Tracks. Find it here.