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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001105.txt from 1998/04

From: Hard Reed <>
Subj: Re: Orchestra auditions
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 15:00:43 -0400

In a message dated 98-04-20 14:19:34 EDT, Ed Lacy writes:

<< I don't think I would have regarded submitting a resume as tantamount to
being invited to the audition.

But, actually, it might not have mattered even if your student were a far
better player than anyone else who auditioned, because the system is set
up to try to identify the "best player," but no one can define exactly
what that means. Many auditions are won by someone who is far less
well-suited to the job than the winning candidate. What the auditions
usually manage to identify is the "best auditioner" or "best
excerpt-player," rather than the person who will do the best job in the
long run in the position. The skills and attributes required to be a good
orchestra player are not the same as those required to be a good

Ed Lacy >>

Yes and no, Ed. Amazing as it may seem, it's often not too difficult to
separate the real "players" -- the musicians -- from the "accomplished
auditioners." For example, we may ask a candidate to replay an excerpt, but,
in doing so, make certain requests (tempi, dynamic, style...whatever). The
response to this can be very telling. Believe it or not, we're not listening

Furthermore, we have that wonderful thing called probation, which can be up to
two years before we must decide to make a new musician a permanent member of
the orchestra. Since I have been in my present position (17 years now), we
have only denied two musicians tenure. Anybody can be "fooled," but it
doesn't happen easily or often.

Larry Liberson

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