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What exactly is it that a conductor does?

I'm watching the movie "The Hidden Face". (seriously great movie). The primary actor is a conductor. What exactly is it that a conductor does? All of the orchestra has the music, so each should know their part. I'm confused as to why the conductor is considered such a genius, unless he/she is the author of the music and has a certain way of interpreting it. Even so, I don't get it. Forgive my ignorance. But please explain.
Thank you.

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  • Dec 10 2012: It costs much money and effort when we need great interpretation, decision making and juggling of all problems, and even it is not easy to guarantee quality gaining the benefits against the cost. Here, we need a conductor because he/she is the most sophisticated, so plays a crucial and efficient role in the work and performance of an orchestra. That's the bottom line.

    Moreover, it is related to a concept, 'group.' For a perfect performance, personal taste, opinion, and point of view are sometimes neglected under joint agreement. Again, we need conductor as a leader, guide, and instructor.

    I'm not a specialist in this area, so I feel sorry that I cannot explain it exactly. All I know is a conductor plays a vital role in the performance:).

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