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Success in the arts. A recorded program produced by the Chicago undergraduate division of the University of Illinois under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Today success as a classical musician the participants Leonard stark and first violinist of the Fine Arts quartet Nicholas medical world famous symphony conductor and director of the Chicago Grant Park symphony and George Kiper manager of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Ravinia Festival moderator for the series are Studs Terkel radio and television commentator. Here now is Mr. Terkel to open the discussion of success as a classical musician. Well let's start with the instrumentalist Leonard Sark and you as a musician what would you say are the fundamental tools the equipment needed for a good classical musician Lenny. Well of course obviously first must be able to play as instrument with a sufficient degree of technical proficiency and secondly
to be a successful performer. You must be able to project through his instrument his ideas or any views that he has about the music he's playing. Of course the depth of his ideas or the insight that he carries into the music will determine stand his stature as an artist I'm sure won't touch on this matter of projection and the insight and depth of an artist to go along. Maestro Michael as a conductor What sort of man what sort of musician would you feel is best for a symphony orchestra. Today's orchestra demands high standards both Stickney and for them as a musician composer so I had more complicated and hard to be seasoned before musicians have to be. Big new develops from a long study. But that isn't enough. One must know me us exist means not when you do know theoretically subject but you know musical you devote your complete
hand style is one that extends this sense of music you get in and somber that has its own demands. Feeling often somber the ability to hit oneself and in and somber maybe there is good action of the conductor especially if you go dynamic and experience brings a lot but still there is always a office or musician one man plays for 10 years and still stands out badly and because if the if a day just then Maestro then apparently seeks a man who has the ability to adjust and of course this brings us to the manager's problem the manager of a metropolitan cities symphony. Mr. Copper what about this musician Maestro while Tcl seeks additional good and that might be a good subtlest moron that someone who can adjust to all sorts of exigencies.
Well I would underscore both what Mr. Sorkin and the maestro would have said that the manager in employing a musician in a major symphony orchestra looks for a solid musician a person who has a personality. Mike I think one of the major requirements also loose sense of teamwork. You must be able to work in a team. And it's true we have to subjugate his personality to a certain extent to that of the conductor. So I would say accomplish musicianship ability to work in a team and from the managers point of view can I throw in an other idea. Some of them study character because when you have a hundred men working together to produce music you have to have studied innocence of character and that involves a lot of things that I hope will come up later in the program. And there's a point you were raised in that we have to bring it out right now to the psyche of steadiness of character this matter. Does a musician have to submerge his person
Mr. Stark and mention projection. So it always has to project his own personality and insight to an audience. What about a member of the symphony. Would this be a liability for this ability project individually to say almost. To what extent must the submerge his personality as a member of a bigger group. Well I think he still must be able to project. But in this case as a member of the orchestra he's projecting the idea that the conductor is putting forth. And. If he doesn't he is not really a fully operating member of the orchestra. This brings an interesting point I think that aside from the qualities we've mentioned so far the musician has to have the temperament in which he is happy doing somebody else's musical ideas constantly. And. I think that there are some musicians who find that they are not happy in that situation. So after doing it a number of years they turn
to other musical fields. You think of another point under the heading we might call this adaptability. And because a member of a major symphony orchestra for example never plays only under only one conductor we have guess could know hers. And so from week to week he may have to adapt himself to a different interpretation of the same work. That's very true. Let's find out what a conductor thinks about this. Meister Michael very difficult and complicated problem the orchestra musician is a slave. Bad new ones always do avoid the ones I remember in London recently one man told me they could go twice I played but I assume that when you come doctors and I said I wanted to do is it best I want to do towards a one it is just that if you lost and who I am
is a bad mistake there is a special disability to play in such a way that you would be able to temperament individuality because education of the conductor conductor has his own view of music. Well this is certainly a lightning tidbit we have here and I think a little further I spent eight years you know as a member of the Chicago Symphony before I went in the service. And. I found that even though I was projecting somebody else's ideas there were so many wonderful moments and the performances that I think it more than made up for the subjugation of my own ideas in that regard. However I will save personally that after being away from it for three years and being in the army I found that I could not go back into the orchestra
and so I found that chamber music was my outlet because I think chamber music is sort of midway between being an artist or man of being a soloist and each man in the quartet is sort of his own conductor. And yet it has all the challenge of teamwork and and solo work combined so I'm a special protagonist for Jeremy to getting this role in one more yeah. It just occurred to me and that is my manager would like to have every member of the orchestra. I love music. Well that's a very important thing. So in fairness one conclusion we can come to that a member of an organization let's say for the moment a symphony a bigger organization than a chamber music unit. We must adjust to a situation but as Maestro Michael put it so aptly it should not be a musical surf and that you still maintain his own individuality forward or too much of a musical person or individual mind and not too much. Maestro I tell again it's very complicated creations I mean his
music I said is that if you drag a was a man to be summut love but we know very well that many people in August and loft of Haitian and don't love music video if you always am love music and laughed at a patient so it's very complicated. Well this is a question my love of music came up because Mr. Sorkin mentioned that even though you know when you're playing in an orchestra you're subjugating your own personality as the conductor that's the only way to help development in a musical program in a symphony but you said there were some great moments. Yes and I think there were great moments come because you love music for itself. That's definitely That's correct yes. That means something. Mr. Stockton mentioned chamber music as an outlet here which brings us to another facet of this discussion channels. What are the channels of employment for a young musician today
specifically what are they where a man he has his violin he has his heart or he is a pianist. He seeks employment. What is the outlook. Well I think there are a larger number of opportunities today for the classical musician than the words say 25 or 30 years ago. There are many more orchestras in the country I think the National Symphony league list something like three hundred six hundred fifty orchestras now admit that a large number of those are only part time as necessary for a man to work at a trade or a profession and make music his avocation. I would say there are more opportunities today for the classical musician and there were a generation or two ago he said I'm more not that I'm more symphony or more of the more symphony orchestras today and therefore more opportunities for the classic musician and his photos or channels besides it was as I said
before himself a musical that beauty is a soloist who demands so it gives an incredibly member which Emberg over 12 years ago he is unfortunately not developed enough in this country. But don't forget that its future lies ahead. Beethoven's abased who walks like that. Maybe Mort's have to do. Teacher as if I was going to be a teacher to be able to do what he wanted to teach. In 0 4 a bit ago it's not the end. Unsuccessful musician but a man who has chosen to give it to you. Of course special preparation experience and knowledge is musicologists. The scientist could do a musical It could be even if necessity of human knowledge isn't for the musician but when a pedagogue and if I was a general officer a musician some orchestras has their own studio offices so he is in Chicago to see the orchestra. Such orchestras can be as NHL stepped in a major organization but generally speaking their bosses
who whine and say same. One must admit that it is not it is far from a perfect test of capability. Chance and circumstance play because all distracting from nervousness. My stomach was touching upon other forms of activity. Aside from being a member of a symphony orchestra small group mentioned the possibilities of becoming a teacher or a critic. Before we go into that I missed a shark and I missed touched upon really one subject he touched upon tenure the lack of tenure the matter of being there are more Symphony Orchestra today and more jobs opportunities for jobs. What about the nature of the jobs themselves. Well I think Mr Kuyper kind probably correct me on this or extend the information but I don't think there are more than. Half a dozen full time major orchestras. Which country is that correct. Well I'd say many more many more than that I have full time I mean one that has a substantial season of better than half a year. I take at least a
couple of dozen groups three dozen there are that many. I'm going there because when we managers of the major I'm quote orchestras get together there's an attendance of about 40 and those are all full time or by full time I mean a season of how long will a season of anywhere from 20 to 30 weeks during the winter season and summer concerts also. Which it would have grown by apparently haven't kept up with that but I was. I'm of the impression I was last however even when you stop to consider the 30 week season outside of the major cities of the scale of pay as such that it hardly makes a year's work for a musician. And while I think the greatest number of job opportunities does exist in symphony orchestras I don't think it provides the kind of job opportunity
pattern that one might say is flourishing for a classical musician an instrumental musician. I think that many. Musicians today good instrumentalists are supplementing they're forced to supplement their earnings and other activities. A salesman as. Technicians in other ways. And of course in teaching music to which there's nothing I take them out of the class of music but it does take them out of being instrumentalists are practicing instrumentalists full time. I didn't I didn't want to present a terribly optimistic picture and have the doors wide open come on in there and there's lots of room and I'm going to go back to a point I made previously that musician classical musician has to have a love for music which were overcome certain of those divisions. The picture is not entirely rosy.
I'll admit that you know the words there are it's there are few relatively few classical musicians who can make a living full time as a classical musician as that so without supplementing his income with other work I think percentage wise. I mean if you take the total of musicians Yes that's true. Which leads to I believe should be a key question what can be done about well before going to that. Is there a is there a mass audience how do you gentlemen feel about this more classical music in America and perhaps from that touch on other. Possibilities full time when my mom asked me what I think the so called mass audience has for classical music this country has grown tremendously during the last 15 or 20 years because of the extensive recordings that have been made. I mean you look at any monthly catalog and to me and to me it's constantly amazing the number of hitherto unknown works as far as recording is concerned they're now being recorded as a symphony
manager who has to look continually at the box office still and there's a there's a big gap between the people who buy records and listen to records and through that medium come more and more to love classical music and those who are willing to come to the box office and listen to a live performance I wonder Mr. Sorkin to me when I agree with that. Yes. Records have become a phenomenon in the last few years and I think the record business has continually amazed the record companies and the rate of its growth. And I think you might be familiar with the figures when they sell fantastic millions of dollars spent last year for classical music in this country including records attendance at concerts and subscriptions to Concert Series things that sort. My owner was a 35 million dollars. I'm not sure of the amount but I think he was up in that in that neighborhood. But the interesting thing is all of the expenditure for say Records has grown tremendously.
The attendance at the major symphony concerts has just about kept even kept at home. And one of our main worries is how to reach out and bring in the hall into Orchestra Hall or into any symphony you want to tour him and those people who should hear live music because I think we'll all admit there's a great difference between listening to a record and listening to a live performance I wonder if there isn't some means of public education indicated here is is it public education is that one nation's we have I think France has the high fidelity movement that has been taking place in this country has probably inadvertently led a number of people into becoming acquainted with good music and probably some of them have been bitten by the bug going to become enthusiasts. Now if we can only start some movement in this country so that people can find out that something happens in a concert hall when you're faced with a life artist that cannot be
recorded on any form of recording stereophonic or otherwise and I have great enthusiasm out of stereophonic recording. But you just cannot catch these vibrations if you want to call them that emanate from a performer from a live human being in company with hundreds of other people who are receiving and responding to his emanations. There's something that to be enjoyed there but cannot be received from any recording and I think we have to strive to let people know about it a little more. Aside from public education which you were raised Mr. Sorkin is there another reason why there is this gap between this tremendous at home listening audience and the lesser volumes. Mr. Patrick what's so few so so many less attend a symphony lives if they don't have a record at home. Would the price of admission has something to do with it. I'm just tossing this out my stream out so it is just if I don't want to be a question as it gets. Too expensive and as Mr. Guy said
when one is a whole the whole business depends on that box or he just cannot be cheap. Therefore it brings us to the question about subsidy. Because now we get such going to get action for the musician it is not easy to get and go to orchestra. I think for instance to get from a good musician to get to go to Symphony Orchestra it is something Clegg's $64000 question. He can be a very good and steel it is difficult. Often it does not depends upon the musician but of one's general condition of musical activity. We have admitted as a musical. Granted it's not as developed could be show to be. There are two ways for a young musician to go to unlock it. Oh you're always a general Can you finish him off as a guy out of several points for instance. Yeah just now we talk about orchestras who each circular X in even more than X and
if you do X and musicians and their favorite family you have a very bad habit they want to eat you weeks. But it's just only one point since I was a young boy as a young generation for me it's no question everybody who is just a normal a normal person likes and lobs good day to day use it you know audience today you get two more and it depends not because if somebody does not love or does not want me to know it is a condition that is difficult to get as it is or because you know when you have all of a sample exit we come just as a gentle conditions of musical It gave it you. So you raise the point Maestro Michael subsidy I think this is a point very close to the heart of Mr Kuyper. What is this problem of keeping a symphony orchestra going and is there a way in which prices admission can be lowered so that perhaps the record listener can attend the symphony more frequently but Mr. Tabor has no idea what was
coming when already when you consider. Last year the Chicago Symphony expenditures were about one million two hundred thousand and the income from all sources. Ticket sales and recording. And we're fortunate we own our hall and the hall itself brings in some level we have to go out and make an appeal for two hundred twenty five thousand dollars. This year we'll need about a like amount. And that's true of every major symphony orchestra and has to go out and appeal to people and unfortunately you're appealing to about the same people who have already paid for the price of admission. So you're asking for two hundred twenty five thousand dollars US from fifteen hundred or two thousand people every year you have to go out with your head in the hand and ask the people who are interested in simple music to support the local symphony.
And it runs all the way down to the smallest symphony in the country it is it is a very not a chamber music group so it doesn't this inevitably need to a question this is a question that is loaded with dynamite at times it need not be the question of subsidy itself from other sources namely that of the public. City State Well there are some cities and some states that do contribute for example I believe the city of Philadelphia for the last four or five years has given the Philadelphia symphony a $50000 grand and for which the symphony gives three or four free public concerts. The Robin Hood Del concerts for the last couple of years have been supported by I think some of the newspapers have joined in and through coupons and newspapers have given free tickets to the citizens of Philadelphia. I think for a while the state of Indiana gave a subsidy to the Indianapolis and and the Grand Park get some support from the city city. But as you say it
is a question that in this country is loaded with dynamite. Who what to what extent could we introduce what is a tradition in Europe of public subsidy where the state does does pay for opera and for symphony orchestras where there for the professional musician a classical musician is guaranteed a 52 week job. Would you care to expand on it maestro of the situation and you know the subsidies not only in Europe because everywhere he was a government things. The music is not only is a prayer of enjoyment but it is intellectual food. What everybody needs there is a government. We'll help and it would be an excellent investment of money because even a person to music and then do more as a person who walks more and better and it is millions and millions and then not only in concert noise Island father never served less who work for the police less work for
judges lawyers who work for schools for the parents and so on and so on and better and more healthy people are. And certainly if you are that way because when they ask me how about a young generation he got so excellent audience excellent young people but it's a need more and all our respect. It was people who were lost to be on to it yes it was a professional musical it DVT as they did it but now it is s'mores and it was nice. Maybe 200 yeah that's what I say but ends more think it's nice to get to day four has a special go up all as a subscriber this knowledge is needed for everybody it is a question always a circuit that you will find it's it is a question always it was always a CD and so on and so on. I think I might say the least amount of corruption is too modest here be grossly I read part of the Grant Park concerts are free to the
public and look at the crowd Yeah I knew it to be such a case this is a whole kind of number how would you draw there into the tens of thousands. Well that is excellent and I think that's a very good point that the maestro touched upon and I'd like to put it another way I think this problem has to be solved in the direction of good classical music becoming an Integra part of our national life instead of something that is enjoyed by a select minority. Although we've been talking about the broadening base of classical music. Still. Until it becomes so much a part of our daily life in this country that people will flock to a concert as a little baseball game. I think this problem will always be with us Maestra. I remember going to four shows he was a clever man. I remember his so attitude all her life. Boyens Greek you vacation off music that you chief men of IN THE MONEY because he's serviced so I would point out that a
lot of existence we speak here of inner harmony or music as a way of life. It could be that here yes or no I don't see a personal note I think about it in our life. We have knowledge and emotions. I did know how your old mistakes of my life where because my emotions were not educated and I think the disposable emotions. What is a material product and you go for more trans organize and emotions. What does mean is the art of the music and so on and so on and so on. And if you do you exist not only in schools but life and the government will support it. You can be only good for everybody and I'm this back to the situation maestro. Music has a way of life of everybody supporting it. What about the musician himself and the situation is she get paid throughout the year. Certainly everyone you speak to we want to hear for 12 months.
Which leads us as a sort of a civil service position so how do you know there's a guy by the way sometimes a good musician loses the Ghost Dog idea because that you know it not because you like only because your idea but it's true. It's not you know I think we wind up here with a very interesting question it's it's left up because there is no solution as such right here on the do you do solution we trust you to wait a full solution eventually in which music does become our way of life and musicians. I need not that she was other occupation supplement that income but make it their full source of income and enjoyment. And gentlemen I think we've touched key points here and the rest is up to the audience itself. We hope they will patronize live musicians and J music as well as symphony orchestras. A man thank you very much Mr. Sorkin. Maestro Michael Crabtree.
This has been a discussion of success as a classical musician. Appearing on today's program where Leonard stark and first violinist in the Fine Arts quartet. Nicholas Malco world famous symphony conductor and director of the Chicago Grant Park symphony and George Kiper manager of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Ravinia Festival. The moderator for the series was Studs Terkel radio and television commentator on turn producer Alfred Partridge. Success in the arts is a recorded program produced by the Chicago undergraduate division of the University of Illinois under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center. This program is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. And E.B. Radio Network.
Success in the arts
Classical music
Producing Organization
University of Illinois
WILL Illinois Public Media
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, which discusses skills needed to excel at the performance of classical music, includes panelists Leonard Sorkin, first violinist, Fine Arts Quartet; Nicholas Malko, conductor and director, Chicago Grant Park Symphony; and George Kuyper, Manager, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Ravinia Festival.
Series Description
This series presents panel discussions that focus on various aspects of the arts, including the skills needed to excel. The series is moderated by Studs Terkel and produced by Alfred E. Partridge.
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Moderator: Terkel, Studs, 1912-2008
Panelist: Malko, Nicolai, 1883-1961
Panelist: Kuyper, George A., 1899-1987
Panelist: Sorkin, Leonard
Producing Organization: University of Illinois
Producing Organization: WILL Illinois Public Media
Speaker: Partridge, Alfred E.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 57-19-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:58
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Chicago: “Success in the arts; Classical music,” 1957-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 10, 2023,
MLA: “Success in the arts; Classical music.” 1957-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 10, 2023. <>.
APA: Success in the arts; Classical music. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from