February 18, 2012
MarkBernstein.org
 

No Vivaldi in the Garage

Heartily recommended by Linda's philosophy professor, this is a mixture of a professional autobiography of the longtime music director of an important American musical training program and a critique of art funding in American music. The memoir is interesting, if not particularly well written. The discussion of art policy is frustrating. Everything comes down to money, and Morgenstern doesn't discuss money in any detail. He says that subsidies are the only hope for symphony orchestras, and no doubt he's right, but it would be interesting to see the proof. He says that Boards should stick to fund-raising and stay out of the music, and no doubt he's right, but isn't staying out of management's hair a recipe for Enron and Tyco? It's a thin book as it is, and I long for a little more detail and depth.