Author’s Note


The concertgoers are arriving and for their encouragement of this rather daunting project I would like to thank Ricardo Hernandez, Kirke Mechem, Amy Firman the site designer, Martin the site engineer, Richard Wahlberg the sound engineer and longtime colleague, Elaine Fuller, Richard Troeger, Ray O’Brien, Tom Rubbert, Fred Maroth, Greg Bottini, William Corbett Jones, John McCarthy, Scott Foglesong, Mark Zier and Macy, Ray and Karen Houck, Malcolm Margolin, Chris Buckley and Patricia Vanderberg, Lise Ostwald, Anna Randall, Christy B., Tara Szabo, Susan Kelley, Karen Buckter, JJ Hollingsworth, Nikki Ballenger and family, Rob Tausk, Phil Saltonstall, Kim McMillon, Kat Parrick, Julie Gilden, Peggy Salkind, Jean Alexis Smith, Sally Hanley, Connie Crawford, Juliana Duncan, Dan Duncan, Dick and Melissa Bruins, Suzanne Klotz and “El Greco,” Richard Pult, Kent Nagano, Sir Charles Mackerras, John Mauceri, Alden Gilchrist, Russ Irwin, Tom Reynolds, Harvey Sachs, Andrew Porter, Edward Greenfield, James Gaffigan, Brent Assink, Kip Cranna, Steven Dibner, Rowland Rebele, John Rockwell, John Bautista, “Bob Kebob,” Marilyn Mercur, all the gang at Browser Books, John Bloomfield and all the Hamptonians, Alison Bloomfield, Julia Bloomfield, Cathy Furniss, all the gang at Norbeck, Peters and Ford in Vermont and the lamented Tower Classical in San Francisco, and the late Anne Bloomfield, Julia Mayer Bloomfield, William Bass, Peter Ostwald, Alan Rich, Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Antonio de Almeida, János Ferencsik, Harold Rosenthal, Alexander Fried and Alfred Frankenstein — and Prof. Leonard Ratner for teaching me what I needed to know. Also, many thanks to James Fuller for technical support! And for photos thanks to Berlin Photo Archive, Fred Maroth and the San Francisco Public Library. 

To borrow a wording from James Salter, I’ve tried in these 97,000 words to “reach out and touch tenderly a great number of things,” swirling as the collectivity of orchestral performance can be. As Orhan Pamuk would say – here we must substitute our conductors for the “consoling streets of Istanbul” – I’ve tried to “capture their chemistry.” Another phrase I’m fond of is Graham Robb’s “unexampled sludge of preconceptions” – suffice to say I’ve sought valiantly to abandon any such gremlins in my thinking. 

— For Cecily, always —

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