Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Married with children, with dual batons

Christian Baldini and his wife Matilda Hofman enjoy an outing at the Davis Farmers Market with their sons, Dante, who will be 4 in November, and Lorenzo, who turned 2 in August. The couple juggle the competing needs of parenthood and careers as orchestra conductors and university professors. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page A4 | October 05, 2012 |

Christian Baldini and Matilda Hofman are conductors. They study musical scores, rehearse with subtantial groups of musicians, stand in front of large audiences and lead performances.

What’s more, Hofman and Baldini each conduct more than one group. Baldini is going into his fourth season with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, and he recently began his first season with the Camellia Symphony Orchestra, a community group based in Sacramento.

For several years, Hofman worked with the Empyrean Ensemble, a UCD-based new music group, and she is about to begin her first season with the Diablo Symphony Orchestra, based in Walnut Creek. They also both have teaching duties at UCD.

Baldini and Hofman are married, making them a rare “two-conductor couple,” and they have two young and energetic sons: Dante, who will be 4 in November, and Lorenzo, who turned 2 in August.

At times, their lives can get pretty busy.

“For instance, we both have orchestras that rehearse on Monday nights,” Hofman said.

And even when they’re not rehearsing, there are other things to do. A goodly portion of a conductor’s job is solitary, learning the music and considering how to interpret it. With multiple ensembles and kids, when do they find time to study scores?

“That is a very good question,” Baldini acknowledged. “When the academic year starts, being a full-time faculty member at UC Davis means lots of committees and meetings. I’m also coordinating chamber music. But one manages to squeeze an hour here, and an hour there.”

Hofman added, “It is important to make (study) a priority and find some time to switch off the computer and say ‘I’m going to be working on music.’ ”

Baldini continued, “Study is a very solitary activity. People think of conducting as a sociable profession. But in order to do that, you have to be very well prepared, so you can communicate what you want.”

Hofman picked up, “And when you’re working on something difficult, it can help to talk to other conductors. One can get into ruts and habits, it can be good to think about a piece from different angles.”

Baldini: “Performing a piece of music can involve such opposite interpretations” coming from different conductors.

Hofman: “And both can be incredibly convincing. Christian and I have quite different conducting styles and different artistic sensibilities. That can be interesting. But we both understand the challenges of the profession.”

Baldini: “We are both keen on opera and contemporary music … and we have different approaches.”

Hofman: “We can talk about music and have different opinions. We bounce ideas off each other.”

Sometimes, the dates on their calendar almost bounce off each other, too. This week is an example: On Saturday, Baldini will conduct a Camellia Symphony concert at 4 p.m., in the recently modernized Performing Arts Center at Sacramento City College in Sacramento. Then at 8 p.m., he’ll be at the Mondavi Center, conducting the second half of the “Rising Stars of Opera” concert, leading the UCD Symphony Orchestra as it accompanies several Adler Fellows from the San Francisco Opera.

There’s another busy weekend in November. Hofman has an Empyrean Ensemble concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre at Mondavi. Then she will conduct the Diablo Symphony at 2 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Baldini has a UCD Symphony Orchestra concert at 7 p.m. that evening in Mondavi’s Jackson Hall.

For their sons, growing up in a household in which both Mom and Dad use a baton has led to an interesting assumption.

“When Dante was just starting to talk, one of the first questions he asked me was whether my parents also conduct,” Baldini recalled. “He was very surprised when we told him that his grandparents are not conductors.”

Hofman observed that their children, being almost constantly exposed to music, began “recognizing the sound of different instruments” at an early age.

Baldini added, “Dante has been asking about mutes for brass instruments, things that can make a ‘wa-wa’ sound. Now he wants to play the trumpet.”

Hofman added, “It’s important that the boys have time with both of us, on a regular basis.” And that, too, is part of the intricate family schedule. You’ll see the whole family riding bicycles together, or in a park or shopping at the Davis Farmers Market.

“A lot of people, when they meet a couple where both (partners) do the same thing, they ask, ‘Is there a competition?’ ” Baldini said. “I see it from another perspective. You are in good company. The other person knows what you are up against. There can be a lot of understanding.”

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.

Comments

comments

.

News

Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Council to hear about drought pricing

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Downtown altercation leads to injuries

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Garamendi votes against energy, water development bill

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Free beginner yoga class offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
NAMI support group meets May 10

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Dr. G featured on the radio

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Forum

End of life doesn’t mean life must end

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

With sincere gratitude

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
A wonderful day of service

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Please help Baltimore

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

He can’t give it up

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

 
 
Dangers from prescription pills

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

.

Sports

UCD softball splits with Titans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Making memories at Aggie Stadium

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

 
New firm helps students on path to college

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

 
Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Marrone opens new greenhouse

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8