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 Resilience of professional musicians
Author: MarkS 
Date:   2022-07-27 18:19

In sports, there are many stories of resiliency of athletes in the face of physical and (more recently) mental health challenges. After being alerted to the Youtube channel "Living the Classical Life" by the link to the interview with Steven Isserlis recently provided by SunnyDaze, I browsed for other interesting interviews. There I came across a wonderful interview with oboist Alex Klein: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V9mWyHsNRk&t=1s.

I was particularly interested in watching this interview since I had enjoyed a performance of the Mozart Gran Partita at the Aspen Music Festival in 2017 in which Klein played a lead. After that performance, I discovered that he had recently been denied tenure as Principal in the Chicago Symphony. Furthermore, this was the second time he had to leave that position.

His story is one of remarkable resilience. He became Principal Oboe in the orchestra in 1995 at age 30. In 2002, he won the Grammy for best solo performance with an orchestra. Unfortunately, he had to resign from the orchestra in 2004 due to focal dystonia in the fingers of his left hand. After a tremendous personal struggle, both physical and mental, he won the position again in 2016 only to be dismissed following the probationary period. Currently he is Principal with the Calgary Philharmonic.

In the interview, he gives a very heartfelt description of the immense challenges he has faced, as well as the personal losses, in order to maintain a career as a performer. Evidently, the interview was conducted after he had become Principal at Chicago the second time, but before he was terminated.

I would be interested in hearing about other musicians who have found ways of coping with similar kinds of challenges. (Obviously, Beethoven comes to mind, but I am thinking about more recent cases.)


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 Topics Author  Date
 Resilience of professional musicians  new
MarkS 2022-07-27 18:19 
 Re: Resilience of professional musicians  new
SunnyDaze 2022-07-27 18:39 
 Re: Resilience of professional musicians  new
SecondTry 2022-07-27 22:35 
 Re: Resilience of professional musicians  new
SunnyDaze 2022-07-27 23:08 

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