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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000950.txt from 1998/04

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: klarinet-digest V2 #78
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 19:19:14 -0400

On Fri, 17 Apr 1998, Jonathan Cohler wrote:
Hat wrote:
> >Sorry, that argument doesn't wash in this instance. Ricardo paid his dues with
> >several seasons as principal clarinetist of a smaller orchestra before he went
> >to the Metropolitan Opera.

> Oh, I see. So your philosophy is that only people who have "paid [their]
> dues" should be allowed to audition? Hmmm... Sounds like a private club
> doesn't it?

Sure you have the capability to change all of it
quite soon, and unless your student's success is not your primary
interest, then you owe it to her to help her deal with such issues and
find ways to get around them. The problem has been around for many mentioned before, if you want to change them, begin by
finding a productive way to change procedures. All you have done so far
is belittle a personnel manager, talk badly about him behind his back in
front of 600-800 people on this list, argue with everyone about it being
so unfair, and demand to have Loren Kitt call you!

> Whatever happened to playing ability being the measure?

And where does that happen fairly? For every example you give, there are
10 to 100 people who believe that the same orchestra you might mention has
auditioned/screened unfairly. It happens to everyone - doesn't make it
right - but blasting off at members of the list for presenting and
reporting these facts doesn't change them.

> How do you know that the student in question hasn't "paid dues" equal to or
> greater than whatever Ricardo had done at the time he applied to the Met at
> age 21?

You haven't given us any reason to believe so.....and it is obvious that
the National Symphony didn't believe it!

> >Basically, the NSO (and most other big orchestras) are doing inexperienced
> >students a favor by not inviting them.
> That's preposterous. And every student with whom I've ever spoken, along
> with most of the famous principal players in the world (who virtually all
> got jobs at young ages when they had no resumes) would disagree with you.

Sorry...that is bull.......and you know it. You make sweeping, grandiose
statements ("along with most of the famous principal players in the
world....") and then expect us to think that you are buddies with all of

> > IF your student made it to the final
> >round, the screen would come down and her resume would then be examined by the
> >committee and the Music Director. Unless she outplayed every other candidate
> >by a lot, the fact that she is not in a position right now and probably has
> >little experience would count against her.
> All else being equal, that would be a reasonable judgement to make. **All
> else being equal.**** The problem is they don't know if all else is equal
> unless they listen to the student first.

Contrary to what you may think, they may not be interested in taking a
chance on the 300 extra people who demand to be heard. If your student
had nothing on the resume that convinced them she was any different than
the others, she is being done a favor....whether you like it or not.

> >In any case, the fact that she has won solo competitions means little to an
> >orchestra. Many winners of ICS and other competitions do nothing in the
> >professional world.
> I seriously doubt both of these statements. In fact, I would be willing to
> wager that most people who win orchestra jobs have won some other major
> audition such as a solo competition or Tanglewood Music Center audition or
> the like.

Name 'em. Just because you are willing to bet (which admits you don't
know but are throwing it out for everyone to believe) that most have won a
major audition or solo competition doesn't make it true. Solo playing
means very little when it comes to a person being able to function well in
an orchestral situation. And that is the opinion of many who sit in such
ensembles and must work beside such players.

> On what facts do you base these statements? I'm sure that an
> official of the ICA might have more information on what has happened to
> past winners of the ICA competition, but I would also be willing to wager
> that a good number of them have continued in music professionally.

Why do you always ask for facts when you don't provide any? "I would
wager.....I assume......blah blah blah." Tiresome, tiresome!

Roger Garrett

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