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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000451.txt from 2001/07

From: Neil Leupold <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Nothing but the Best
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 12:50:08 -0400

The full title of the book is: "Nothing But The Best: The Struggle for
Perfection at The Juilliard School." As for suitability for a teenager,
there is one short story about a frustrated composition student, faced
with an incompetent teacher, where his method for testing this teacher
involves reference to a phallus. This is a minor point relative to
the lesson being communicated, and I don't think many people would
consider the reference (wherein the student draws an enormous phal-
lus on staff paper and proceeds to compose a large-scale symphonic
work "around" it) overly risque'. The way Kogan describes the inci-
dent, it's actually very funny, while preserving the point that even
at a school like Juilliard, a student may find themselves dealing
with a teacher who has no concept of, much less interest in, the stu-
dent's welfare or artistic development. Ultimately, this student per-
severed, was exonerated, and his teacher was disciplined. Politics
abound, and it's always useful to know this going in. The entire
book is about the myriad brands of politics that Kogan witnessed,
actually, while doing a wonderful job of fleshing out the contexts
and experiences within which those politics were manifest.


--- jsshankles <> wrote:
> I couldn't find the title of the book in your message. Did you mention it?
> Also, my daughter, 14, is very interested in someday attending a music
> school...perhaps even Juilliard. I thought she might enjoy reading this.
> Is there anything in it that wouldn't be appropriate for a young teenager?
> As I am about to send this, I noticed that the subject of the message is
> probably the title of the book...correct?
> Thanks,
> Jeff
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Neil Leupold []
> Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 9:44 AM
> To:
> Subject: [kl] Nothing but the Best
> For about the three-dozenth time, I'm reading Judith Kogan's superbly
> narrated expose' on life at Juilliard, revelling in the neurotic exper-
> iences and mindset that are commensurate with attending the most famous
> school of music in America (if not the world). Kogan was a harp major
> there, and her fly-on-the-wall expository style is so much a delight
> that it's easy to "live" the narrative vicariously through her prose.
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