Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

My father and mother, Leon and Dora Brusilow, deserve first mention for their dedication to the musical development of their two sons as well as the love and affection shown to us. I wish to honor Nathan, my brother, a world class clarinetist who was instrumental in putting together the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia. And...

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Prologue

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pp. ix-x

In 1967, I conceived the idea for this book. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported it,1 and Alfred Knopf wanted to publish it. But I frustrated them by not writing it. I knew something then about wanting to shoot conductors, since I already had Pierre Monteux, George Szell, and Eugene Ormandy making life more difficult..

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1. I Came by It Honestly

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pp. 1-12

I believe my father just looked Mr. Fleisher up in the telephone directory and asked if he could bring his son to play violin for him. Edwin A. Fleisher was a great man of music in Philadelphia. In that year, 1933, he published a list of his astounding collection of music from all over the world. He had already deeded the collection...

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2. My Several Educations

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pp. 13-43

Mr. Zimbalist taught me in his studio, the same room where I had auditioned. He took it for granted that such a lucky boy would make the most of his opportunity. His own commitment to excellence was supreme. I did not know that long ago, in Kiev, he had studied under Otakar Ševčík, author of the hated études. But...

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3. I’ll Do As I Please

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pp. 44-70

“Albaire,” Maître said. “We think you should come to San Francisco this winter. You could help me with my orchestra and refine your conducting. Besides, I like the way you play.”
Yes, I would go. I was twenty-one, and all was right with the world. The violin felt natural, like the part of my body that connected...

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4. Szellian Perfection

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pp. 71-110

One October day in the fall of 1955, I drove to Severance Hall for my first rehearsal with the Cleveland Orchestra. I parked in the lot, fetched my violin from the passenger seat, and strolled to the door, enjoying the pleasant weather. My mind was open to whatever came through, possibly that back in New Orleans...

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5. This Is the Philadelphia Orchestra

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pp. 111-160

Finally, the day came. Most of the musicians were onstage, and I certainly didn’t want to be last. But Ormandy stopped me. “Don’t go out. I’ll introduce you.”
I was nervous. I followed him out, and the players continued chatting and fiddling with their instruments until they finally noticed that I was with their...

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6. The Bow and the Baton

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pp. 161-191

When Ormandy entertained VIPs in his dressing room, he often invited me to join them. Sometimes reporters were around and pictures were snapped. When we were photographed standing next to each other, I used to lean down so our faces were close together and the height difference was minimized. Sometimes he...

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7. This Isn’t the Philadelphia Orchestra

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pp. 192-218

I still remember the hush when the lights went down. The Philadelphia Union League was packed with its members and friends, coming out to a private concert, to see something new. It was September 30, 1966, and my Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia was on its home turf, after two initial concerts out of...

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8. Into the Wild West

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pp. 219-262

Where to begin about the Dallas Symphony Orchestra? Those three years, 1970–73, are a complicated story. In my life, I was fired only once. But the memory of it splinters into arrows coming from different directions at different times.
It was because of the pops concerts. Who did I think I was, bringing...

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9. The Less Wild West

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pp. 263-279

At times like that, you just do the next thing, live from today to tomorrow, fulfill your engagements. I conducted the Bournemouth Symphony in England in some all-Russian concerts, and we recorded an album for EMI—Rimsky-Korsakov’s Skazka, Balakirev’s Grand Fantasy on Russian Folk Songs, and Borodin’s...

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10. In Good Company

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pp. 280-286

Joe Gingold, it turned out, was right. I needed to be teaching. Working with young people is a salve for some of the grief that awaits the long-lived. We lose people.
Joe Gingold died in 1995. He had left the Cleveland Orchestra the year after I did. He loved teaching and did not love Szell, so he took a position at the Indiana...

Index

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pp. 287-300

Image Plates

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