Conductors – Mars Neptune, Fire boils Water ++ Barenboim + Veronika Dudarova

  Dictators come in all walks of life and old style orchestral conductors were always renowned for their ferocity when it came to exerting their will and their wishes. A spat this week between Sir John Eliot Gardiner, a highly respected maestro, who reportedly threw a punch at a young singer as they left the stage, has effectively ended his career. Renowned as inspiring, he clearly finds the balance between perfectionism and impatience tricky.  He is not alone. Georg Solti was evidently known as the ‘screaming skull’ by his London orchestral players.

  Gardiner, 20 April 1943, England, has two yods of a final degree Aries Sun sextile Mars and exactly quincunx Neptune; and Mars in Pisces on the focal point of a Yod inconjunct Pluto sextile Neptune. That is a fascinating battle between musical/creative Neptune and short-fused Mars. To make it worse his Mars is square Uranus, Venus and Saturn which is highly combustible.

 Georg Solti, 21 October 1912 Budapest, Hungary, had an ego-centric Sun Libra on the focal point of a highly-strung opposition of Uranus to Neptune. His Mars in extra-determined Scorpio was quincunx Saturn and possibly in a Water Grand Trine to Pluto trine a Pisces Moon. Much revered by his fans but not a man to cross.

Leonard Bernstein, 25 August 1918 1pm Lawrence, MA, also had Mars in Scorpio trine a super-confident Jupiter Pluto in Cancer and square Neptune Venus in Leo; plus a willful, innovative Virgo Sun opposition Uranus.

 Herbert von Karajan, 5 April 1908 10.30pm Salzburg, Austria like Solti had the Uranus Neptune opposition square his Sun, in his case in Aries. His Mars in last degree Taurus conjunct Venus was on the focal point of a mini Grand Trine of a high-vitality Jupiter trine Saturn.

 Anatol Dorati, 9 April 1906 6am Budapest, was an Aries Sun opposition a Libra Moon with his Mercury in Aries square a Uranus opposition Neptune. His Mars in heavyweight Taurus was trine Uranus and inconjunct his Moon.

  No great conclusions other than noting the prominence of Mars in all the above charts – and the particular contradiction in John Eliot Gardiner’s case between his Mars and his Neptune.

  While in no way wishing to condone bad behaviour I have an edgy feeling that present trends don’t allow for the realities of human nature. A well-behaved, vanilla-temperament is unlikely to exhibit great talent. In show business, as Glenn Close once remarked, it is understood that creative types often walk near the edge psychologically. Or as an old horse dealer I once knew said “the good uns always have a streak up them.”

Add On: Daniel Barenboim, 15 November 1942 11.35 am Buenos Aires, Argentina, hugely respected as a conductor and an outspoken critic of Israeli government policies towards Palestinians has a similarly prominent Mars as above. His Sun and three other planets are in Scorpio including his Mars which is square Pluto and inconjunct Saturn (latter like Solti). Balancing the high vitality of Mars with Saturn and Pluto not easy.   

Veronika Dudarova, born 5 December 1916, Baku Azerbaijan, was the first woman conductor of symphony orchestras in the 20th century – Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and she founded the Symphony Orchestra of Russia. She was ‘distinguished by her indomitable character, willpower, and supreme professionalism.’

  A Sun Sagittarius with a super-intense Mars in Capricorn which was opposition Pluto and inconjunct Saturn and Neptune. Weird who’d have though Mars inconjunct Saturn would be a musical maestro’s astro-signature.

13 thoughts on “Conductors – Mars Neptune, Fire boils Water ++ Barenboim + Veronika Dudarova

  1. Interesting. Speaking of modern trends, after attending a classical concert where a friend sang in the chorus, I asked her about the featured conductor and whether conductors made a difference. She said everyone loved this relatively young man, particularly because he was willing to listen. As a result, he is in high demand. (No idea as to his horoscope, but now you’ve made me curious 😉

    I think it’s possible to be highly creative without heavy emotional issues/baggage and the ability to literally get along with everyone (world-famous cellist Yo Yo Ma comes to mind). But likely more difficult in positions of leadership, or to create emotionally intense works of art, without the corresponding personality or life experience. Outside of the arts, there are plenty of high achievers in their domains who are lacking in some aspect of their life because it’s almost impossible to attend to everything when one is so focused on work (or for that matter, any particular domain of life). I can think of an affable Nobel prize winner where I work who was at the same time totally oblivious to the rampant sexism in his research lab.

  2. As a person with a Scorpio Mars inconjunct a retrograde Aries Saturn, this is fascinating.

    I’m going to assume, from your previous post on quincunxes, that this aspect can cause a struggle and a frustration to integrate both Saturn and Mars harmoniously and so it can be unleashed on others in a less than kind way.

    I thought that this aspect would cause frustration, but more on an internal level, in terms of not knowing how to express either the Mars or the Saturn energies and so there may be a a kind of suppression, or reticence, to show anger.

    I know for myself, I’ve always felt that I have to be careful in how I express healthy anger, in case it gets misinterpreted as aggression. But, this caution may be influenced by the outbursts of anger that I used to witness from my mother. I do show anger, but it’s not unrestrained. But, I also have Mars square Mercury so maybe it likes to come out with words.

    I do wonder if the people mentioned in this post get frustrated with themselves after they’ve hit out at others, especially with Saturn being a hard task master & Mars being rash?

  3. I’ve just read up on the Gardiner incident, in the Guardian, & it sounds unwarranted & extremely aggressive of him. Apparently, “He has long had a reputation for being tempestuous and rude to performers”.

    Whilst a person’s human nature shouldn’t be suppressed, it isn’t acceptable to hurt people. I’m sure there are ways to use up excess energy that comes with more temperamental personalities.

    Does anyone know if there are any examples of women with similar planetary connections as the men mentioned in this post who are also in public artistic professions? Because I suspect that women often have to hold down their more explosive nature’s as they are tolerated less – but I could be wrong.

    I’d also be interested in the younger generation of male conducters, who also have similar planetary connections (especially with Mars involved) because the world is less accepting of poor behaviour from those in positions of power over them & younger generations are being taught kinder values.

    I can see from the Guardian article that a much younger man named Dinis Sousa has taken over from Gardiner, but I can’t find a date of birth for him.

    • “Does anyone know if there are any examples of women with similar planetary connections as the men mentioned in this post who are also in public artistic professions? Because I suspect that women often have to hold down their more explosive nature’s as they are tolerated less – but I could be wrong.”

      Don’t have a chart for her, but Anne Wintour (born born 3 November 1949 according to Wikipedia and the inspiration for Meryl Streep’s character in “The Devil wears Prada”) immediately came to mind.

      • Also, Mars is an inherently masculine energy.

        All of us have Mars and Venus in our charts, just like how all of us have testosterone and estrogen in us (women have some testosterone and men have some estrogen as well), but the predominant planet/hormone may work differently in men and women.

    • I found a woman conductor named Veronika Dudarova born between 1906-1918, the range of birth dates most frequently cited in Marjorie’s post (interesting, with 12 years being equivalent to a Jupiter cycle). Dudarova’s DOB was 5 December 1916 in Baku, Russia (Azerbaijan?) Her Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Chiron, and AC all make aspects to Neptune, with Mars inconjunct Neptune.

      Described by her peers as a person of “indomitable character, willpower, and supreme professionalism” with a “distinctive, expressive style of performance and… ability to feel the music deeply”; “she fired a trombonist three times for drunkenness and absenteeism, but then invariably [re-]hired him because he auditioned better than other applicants”; “intense style of conducting”; during one performance, Dudarova “fell from the podium but went on conducting the orchestra lying on the floor leaning on her right hand and the piece was performed to the end without an interruption”; four days before a performance, she “broke her leg. In order not to cancel the concert, she asked for anesthesia, a plaster cast to be made on stage, and to be brought on stage with the conductor’s stand before the curtain rose.” “In a 2006 interview, Dudarova said she had five husbands,” though only two were cited in the source I read.

      I remember that Steven Forrest also wrote an interesting chapter in his book of Neptune about “How Neptune’s Sign Changes the Music.” He doesn’t cover any of the signs prior to Virgo, though.

      • Wow & good grief, TrisKit, what an interesting woman and extremely determined. Another person with Mars inconjunct a planet (in this case Neptune), but also/as well a very prominent Neptune, which ties in with music so well.

        The Steve Forrest book looks interesting.

  4. Gardiner had a bit of a reputation for testiness but I suspect this comes with the territory.
    Simon Rattle 19 January 1955 has a sun opposite Jupiter uranus in cancer with Mars in a trine in Aries. There are some similarities with the others.
    It does seem to me that sportspeople, artists and the like have to have a degree of obsession (others may call it dedication) about their gift to succeed. This does necessarily make them nice people.

  5. Gardiner is 80 years old. I’m not sure I can conclude anything from his natal chart without knowing what his temperament was like throughout the rest of his life span. Some people appear to “mellow” with age; some people suffer cognitive decline for example in the medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, which would affect behaviour.

    • According to someone who has known him well over the years and is a great admirer there are still indications of past eruptions. Since this incident evidently there have been tales of “his alleged beastliness towards the singers and instrumentalists who have worked with him over the decades.”
      ‘Erudition goes hand-in-hand with an arrogance and impatience that can boil over. Most conductors “don’t suffer fools lightly” — it goes with the territory if you have limited time to impose your ideas on 100 musicians — but Gardiner sometimes seems to raise intolerance to an art form.’
      Don’t think it can be written off to age.

  6. Thanks Marjorie. I have the conjunction in Scorpio (3rd house). Generally I’m pretty agreeable (Libra Sun) and have a tremendously long fuse. When I blow however, it can only be described as an emotional tsunami and it shocks people.

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