During Round 2, Phase 2 in the 2011 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, the conductor Alexey Utkin used a pen to conduct for at least 2 Piano Concertos, such as for
Mr Seong-jin Cho's performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K.466
and Ms Yeol Eum Son's performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21, K.467.

I know that conductors can choose to conduct with only the hands and no tool?

I ask not about musically immaterial or negligible reasons such as forgetting to bring a baton or the unfortunate possibility of being unable to afford one.

  • 2
    The question could have easily been 'Why wouldn't he?' – Tim Apr 11 '16 at 6:43
  • What does it matter? He could use his fingers. – Neil Meyer Apr 11 '16 at 8:19
  • 1
    This has essentially the same answers as music.stackexchange.com/questions/40984/… – user27862 Apr 11 '16 at 14:30
  • Gergiev's toothpick is a trademark affectation. Most of the orchestra can't see whether he's holding it or not! Utkin's pen is at least visible, though you could question the sense of dressing in all black while standing in front of a black piano lid. – Laurence Payne Apr 11 '16 at 19:19

Well maybe he didn't want one. I have a conductor that prefers to use a Harry Potter wand over a baton because it's better balanced. Then again, if he did forget a baton, or can't afford one, then that's pretty much the only answer that you can get. A pen doesn't signify anything special baton wise. Also, conductors can use their hands instead of batons. I wasn't sure if that was a question so there's an answer just in case!

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