Saturday, May 17, 2014

Is Fame Necessary?

Fame is probably the most significant element of our culture in that it determines more of how people spend their money and, more importantly, how they use their imaginations.

A certain violinist is famous therefore he must be good.  But what if that is all he is, namely good?  What if he is not good enough for the repertoire he plays? How likely is it that people will notice his boredom and his reliance on speed to conceal it from himself?

How hard it can be for not-famous musicians to capture the imagination of listeners.  Good listening practice is readily available and it doesn't cost a penny.  Find out when the student recitals take place at a music school in your neighborhood and make a point of going with the intention of noticing what you are responding to as you listen to the young people play.  And I mean young people, not only conservatory undergraduates.