12. August 2008 · 6 comments · Categories: Ramble

If an artist has done unforgivable things in their private life, can you still let the music speak for itself?

It was asked here.

There are some things that would interfere with my listening far too much, I think. Glitter’s history would be one of them. Every time I’d hear him or see his face I’d think about what I just read.

Of course it’s sort of a moot point, since I’ve never heard the guy before. Or if I have, I didn’t know it.

But I struggle with this in other, somewhat different instances.

I worked with one artist who was rude, difficult, and extremely unpleasant to the orchestra. And in front of an audience. To this day I can’t listen to that person without cringing, and I hear the person with a prejudice that just refuses to leave. Sometimes I wonder if the individual has changed. Perhaps some slack should be cut? But I won’t know unless that person performed here again, and that is quite doubtful.

At the same time, I would never divulge information about artists that are cruel, rude, or otherwise distasteful in some way. That would, after all, make me cruel, rude, or otherwise distasteful.

Of course I may already appear like that to some of you … but I’m not going to feed that problem if I do come across that way!

But ah, the tales we could tell. (I’m not the only one who has stories, believe me!)


  1. It is not a secret that I had such a bad experience singing with the sainted Robert Shaw that I couldn’t listen to the Missa Solemnis for than ten years. I blogged about it here.

  2. Well, once someone’s died I probably won’t worry so much about revealing things. Maybe. 🙂

    I had heard a bit about Robert Shaw even before his death. Guess it was no secret, eh?

    I’ve worked with several “Toscanini-esque” conductors. Most are still alive, so I shall remain silent. Of course some people can guess names … not difficult.

    I know some of my colleagues will also guess who I’m speaking of in the blog entry, as they were there. And, truth be told, the artist is known for poor behavior. What drives me nuts is that some audience members still say, “I don’t believe it can be true!” They assume that beautiful artistry means a performer must be a beautiful person. That’s been proven faulty many a time.

  3. Ok, so now tomorrow (hope your Mom’s ok) I’ll have to ask and/or guess, and I know you won’t say anyhow – how frustrating. 🙂

  4. Thanks, Tim. I’m sure things will be fine. (I prefer to remain positive!)

    You probably just have to do a search on classical performers and poor behavior or something to come up with some names.

    Hmmm. Maybe I’ll try doing that now …. 🙂

  5. Nope. Nothin’. Too bad for you. 😉

  6. Nuffin! Nuffin???!??


    While I have nothing but Good Stuff(TM) to say about the few celebrities with whom I’ve worked (Yay Rita Moreno!) and none of them would have the slightest clue as to who I am, I don’t think there’s any amount of ability that can substitute for common courtesy, myself.