Newsflash

(Washington, DC)  Former Senator George J. Mitchell released a blistering report Thursday that tied 89 performers of so-called “Classical Music,” including Mitsuko Uchida, to the use of illegal, non-musical cultural performance-enhancers. The report used informant testimony and supporting documents to provide a richly detailed portrait of what Mr. Mitchell described as “classical music’s thinking era.”report650.jpg

The Mitchell report ran about 400 pages and was based on interviews with more than 700 people, including 60 former “classical” musicians, and 115,000 pages of documents.

Ms. Uchida was the most prominent name on a list that included seven other most valuable players as well as players from all instruments of the orchestra, with the exception of the tuba. The list included more than a dozen players who have had significant solo engagements with the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philarmonic, and others.

“Personally, I find it somewhat disturbing,” said a prominent classical musician (Musician X, in the Mitchell Report), who elected to remain anonymous. “I mean, if you can read books and be culturally aware and thoughtful, and all that, it gives you an unfair advantage over all of those classical musicians who are just trying to play, honestly, without any of that stuff.” Musician Y gruffly agreed: “what happened to good old-fashioned playing in tune?” Classical Music Commissioner Zemlinsky Alban MacGonegall, addressing a crowd of 3 or 4 at his news conference, observed: “What is the point of sealing off our classical musicians in conservatories, if they’re just going to go crazy and start acquainting themselves with the world around them? Our whole system was set up to prevent this sort of thing, and obviously it has not been enough.”

Individual P is quoted describing how he injected Ms. Uchida with cultural influences at least 342 times from 1985 to the present. But most damning was the evidence that she befriended many brilliant personages from other cultural spheres, including Susan Sontag and others. “All that inspiration,” said Witness V, “makes a mockery of those of us who try to play by the rules.”

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5 Comments

  1. Last night's sushi date
    Posted December 15, 2007 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I am grateful that someone finally exposed this seedy underbelly of the classical profession. At last there will be a change for musical homogeneity and conformity – the two most potent guarantees for an audience member’s satisfaction.

  2. rednepentha
    Posted December 15, 2007 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    that was hysterical. please, no enhancements….it’s overwhelming.

  3. Posted December 16, 2007 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    That was precious. My favorite part was definitely, “Classical Music Commissioner Zemlinsky Alban MacGonegall, addressing a crowd of 3 or 4 at his news conference, observed: ‘What is the point of sealing off our classical musicians in conservatories, if they’re just going to go crazy and start acquainting themselves with the world around them? Our whole system was set up to prevent this sort of thing, and obviously it has not been enough.’”
    It describes the city of Rochester perfectly.

    Thanks for posting!

  4. Posted December 17, 2007 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    “Zemlinsky Alban MacGonegall” — whose main secretary is, of course, Amadeus Salieri Snape, I take it?

    Good one!

  5. hugo
    Posted December 27, 2007 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    It’s equally bad at the cons in Germany. You’d think people were being given lobotomies not liberal arts educations

5 Trackbacks

  1. By thunder-snow! « the bassoon chick on December 17, 2007 at 12:27 am

    [...] as liberals, which I know is hard to believe, but true. And I know I have a link on the left, but Think Denk’s latest post definitely brought a smile to my face. See, music majors need to know more than just how to play [...]

  2. By Top ten lists | Susan Crawford blog on December 21, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    [...] I love Jeremy Denk’s blog. Here’s a recent entry about a destructive doping scandal in the classical music world: Newsflash. [...]

  3. By oboeinsight » Blog Archive » Hysterical! on December 24, 2007 at 10:00 am

    [...] -Jeremy Denk (read here) [...]

  4. [...] Newsflash at think denk From think denk via oboeinsight: ‘George J. Mitchell released a blistering report Thursday that tied 89 performers of so-called “Classical Music,” including Mitsuko Uchida, to the use of illegal, non-musical cultural performance-enhancers.’ (tags: humor think denk classical music blog) [...]

  5. By classical music on February 25, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    classical music…

    I’m impressed. Thank you….

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