Ryan McAdams

Ryan McAdams: How Myths of Artistic Leadership Fuel Destructive Behaviors

Conductor Ryan McAdams shares how the myth of the “ideal” conductor, perpetuated at conservatory and within Western culture, glorifies destructive lifestyles such as living in isolation, excessive behaviors, constant striving for perfection, appearing omniscient, and hiding all human vulnerabilities.

Written By

Julia Adolphe

Conductor Ryan McAdams shares how the myth of the “ideal” conductor, perpetuated at conservatory and within Western culture, glorifies destructive lifestyles such as living in isolation, excessive behaviors, constant striving for perfection, appearing omniscient, and hiding all human vulnerabilities. In order to manage these impossible professional standards, Ryan believes many conductors turn towards self-destructive behaviors, and Ryan shares some of his own personal struggles. Lastly, Ryan suggests how young conductors could be nurtured and prepared for the challenges of the profession, instead of being told they are not cut out for the job if they cannot cope with stress.