Subject: "Passion and Patriotism" by Ed Vuilliamy [30.10.09]
Perhaps it is arguable that Valery Gergiev, as Ed Vuilliamy asserts, is the greatest conductor of his generation. Yet as one who has experienced the orchestral terror of trying to decipher his beat--which consists of a toothpick dangled in his right hand, while his left hand flutters up and down like a butterfly--I can attest that maestro Gergiev is definitely the most difficult to follow.
All the same, Mr. Gergiev, along with the legendary maestros Leopold Stokowski and Carlos Kleiber is, in my opinion, one of the great poets of the podium. These gentlemen could convey a musical dynamic and articulation to their musicians with a glance, a frown, a wink, a smile--call it E.S.P. if you will, but nonetheless it was always a great pleasure and an honor to make music with them--despite the absence of a clear beat from a baton and a few skipped heartbeats.
(Retired violinist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra)
180 West End Ave.
NYC 10023 U.S.A.
Note to Editor: I was a member of the Met Orchestra for 46 years, 30 of them as associate-principal violin, and have played under the 3 conductors mentioned.
Re “When an Ear Witness Decides the Case” (Basics, June 23): Natalie Angier writes that emerging evidence suggests that mammals don’t share the human love for music. Yet my two cats refute this theory, and even display a preference for certain kinds of music.
“The Buchenwald Symphony Jewish Life, Fall 1975 “The Fastest Tremolo in the West” The South Dakota Review, Summer issue, 1977 “The Saboteur Claquer” Ovation, Jan.1982
U.S. Marine Corps Training Manuals, Maps, etc. 1951-53 “No Prompter” The Juilliard Journal, Feb.2002 “Reverie” The Juilliard Journal, April, 2002 “Isolde” The Juilliard Journal, Oct. 2002 “Live From the Met” The Juilliard Journal, Feb. 2003 “Out of Tuna” The Juilliard Journal, Nov.2003 “A Winter’s Tale” The Juilliard Journal, Jan. 2004 “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow” The Juilliard Journal, April 05 “Prop Man Errs” The Juilliard Journal, Sept.05 “Double Bass” The Juilliard Journal, Sept.06 “Water Music” The Juilliard Journal, May,07 “The Suzuki Rebellion” The Juilliard Journal, Sept. 08
BIOGRAPHICAL & REFERENCES
International Who’s Who in Music 1985-to present Table Tennis Topics Feb. 1976 Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature: vol. 36, 37, 38, & 40 NY Times Index 1979 WQXR interview; Met Orchestra Roundtable March 13, 1999 Spotlight The Juilliard Journal, Sept. 06 Sirius Met Broadcast interview April 11, 2007
EDUCATION & MUSICAL BACKGROUND
Erasmus Hall H.S. Concertmaster of NYC All-H.S. Orchestra 1946 Yaddo Contemporary Music Festival 1949 Concertmaster: Juilliard Opera Orchestra 1949-51 Juilliard Sc.Music Scholarship, violin diploma 1951 Columbia Univ. B.S. in music 1961 Columbia U. Graduate Sc. Musicology courses 1961 National Orchestral Assn. (Leon Barzin) 1950s WNYC “Young American Artist Series” 1947 NBC –TV Opera Orchestra, Symphony of the Air, 1954 Kohon String Quartet, New Orleans Philharmonic, National Symphony (Wash.D.C.), Radio City 1955 Music Hall, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra 1961-- Associate-Principal 2nd-violin 1970-2000 Chicago Lyric Opera, Principal 2nd-violin 1969 Aegina Arts Centre, Greece trio in residence & Faculty teaching position. Summers of 1972 & 1973
U.S. Marine Corps, drafted in Korean Conflict 1951 Active Reserve as Corporal until 1959 National Defense Medal; Audio-Visual Aids Unit Camp LeJeune, N.C. Active Duty: Nov.5, 1951-53
Chess (1st prize Manhattan Chess Club Class-B Tournament 1969.) Table Tennis (see biographic article by Reba Monness in “Table Tennis Topics” Feb.76) Favorite Authors: Proust, Nabokov, Gogol, Stendahl, Baudelaire, Gautier, & other 19th C. French poets & writers. Also, Goethe, Heine, Schiller, etc. Art History; particularly Asian art. Foreign Languages: Many --- on a Berlitz level. Japanese Culture: Bushido, Films, Martial Arts, Fine Arts, etc. Feeding & Loving Care of Cats
Solos on Arthur Godfrey “Talent Scouts” TV, Paul Whiteman’s “Steel Pier” TV show (1st Prize). Asst.Concertmaster “Fiddler on the Roof” Bdwy. Musical (2 weeks), Lead violin for Copacabana strings for shows in late 50’s and recordings with Paul Anka, Bobby Darin, Patti Paige, Tony Bennett, etc. Solos and shows for Catskill hotels: Grossinger’s , Concord (Marlene Dietrich, 1960!), Windsor Hotel, Plaza Hotel, Chester’s, etc. etc. Most bizarre club date: Sara Vaughn, at Basin Street East, with jazz band. Most fun: gypsy violin solos on hotel jobs with Vera Brynner (Yul Brynner’s sister). Also, “society club-dates” a.k.a. “continuous jobs” with Lester Lanin and Meyer Davis musicians.
Leslie Dreyer retired after 46 seasons with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, 30 of them as associate-principal violin. He now teaches privately and coaches applicants for symphony orchestra auditions.