We get a lot of visitors here in the Archives. Patrons, students, biographers, genealogists, media, musicians, and teachers, all looking for information on a variety of subjects. But it’s not often that we have the pleasure of hosting one of our guest conductors.

Stéphane Denève, who made an impressive podium debut last week (see here, here, and here), had expressed an interest in the history of the CSO, and one of my colleagues suggested a visit to the Archives. So yesterday on his day off, he came by and spent a couple of hours looking at Theodore Thomas scores (he was particularly interested in Thomas’s bowing markings) and a scrapbook of images of the Orchestra onstage between 1905 and 1964 (to see the changes in seating arrangements and varying use of onstage risers).

Maestro Denève was also happy to share a few stories about some of his early jobs: assisting Sir Georg Solti at the Orchestre de Paris (Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle in 1995) and the Paris National Opera (Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 1996), as well as with Seiji Ozawa (who led the CSO as music director of the Ravinia Festival in the 1960s) at the Saito Kinen Festival (Poulenc’s Les dialogues des Carmélites in 1998).

Who’s next?