When Akiko Fujimoto took over the helm of conducting the annual San Antonio Symphony performances of "The Nutcracker" in 2012, she had never conducted a ballet before.
"I knew that it was a completely different genre of conducting," Fujimoto says. She turned to a colleague that's been conducting Tchaikovsky's score for years, Boston Ballet's Music Director, Jonathan McPhee. "He said to watch out [because] how dancers interpret tempo is different than how musicians talk about tempo. We opened the score, and we went through everything page by page."