Discussion:
"Shoot the Conductor," by Anshel Brusilow
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Frank Berger
2020-10-13 17:19:29 UTC
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Read and enjoyed this recently. Written in 2015, he passed
in 2018. Perhaps a little self serving in places (he
doesn't mention a payola type incident that had something to
do with his dismissal from the Dallas Symphony at all), and
there are sections that were pretty clearly written by his
co-author. But overall enjoyable and I even learned a little
about the professional side of musicianship.

It's apparently a mystery why Monteux dropped his support
for Brusilow's solo career just because he got married.
While praising Szell and Ormandy's musicianship to the
heavens, he a had a lot negative to say about their
personalities. Nothing that we haven't heard elsewhere. Is
Brusilow to blame for destroying his relationship with
Ormandy by breaking his promise to stay in Philadelphia for
10 years and not conducting there?

Anyway, recommended.
vhorowitz
2020-10-13 19:40:25 UTC
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I could have used more musical insight into his many important collaborations, and a LOT less of his kvetching about his personal nit-picky grievances against them. I find the Monteux stuff particularly distasteful. Those who knew Brusilow that I’ve talked to praised his musicianship but said HE was a real piece of work. And the chapters in the last Dallas area stuff were downright distasteful. He judged a competition at my workplace, and made lousy choices based on personality conflicts he had managed to drum up in his short time there. “Never again” was the verdict as far as inviting him back. What a shame....he was a considerable musician in his time, but I’m sorry, this book is a rag IMHO, unless you’re looking for something along the lines of “The Maestro Myth”.
Frank Berger
2020-10-13 20:07:00 UTC
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Post by vhorowitz
I could have used more musical insight into his many important collaborations, and a LOT less of his kvetching about his personal nit-picky grievances against them. I find the Monteux stuff particularly distasteful. Those who knew Brusilow that I’ve talked to praised his musicianship but said HE was a real piece of work. And the chapters in the last Dallas area stuff were downright distasteful. He judged a competition at my workplace, and made lousy choices based on personality conflicts he had managed to drum up in his short time there. “Never again” was the verdict as far as inviting him back. What a shame....he was a considerable musician in his time, but I’m sorry, this book is a rag IMHO, unless you’re looking for something along the lines of “The Maestro Myth”.
Well, probably there would have been no book had he not
"been able" to complain about Monteux, Szell and Ormandy.
Though he had good things to say about all of them as well.
Not sure what you mean by calling his telling of the Monteux
relationship as "distasteful." If true, it is important to
know, though I, for one, can't even imagine why they would
remove their support because he got married. If not true,
Brusilow is lying, not being "distasteful." It's possible
there was another reason that he chose not to reveal.
Impossible to know, without other people weighing in. I
wonder if there are any "witnesses" from the Monteux years.
We're talking about 70 years ago, right?
vhorowitz
2020-10-14 01:50:27 UTC
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I feel that his swipe at Monteux, despite his obvious mentorship and support for Brusilow, at the distance of all of these years, is a tacky attack which is pretty useless for our understanding of Monteux, and from what I’ve heard of Brusilow (and his tendency to come up with a multitude of grievances in his later years) I doubt he told the whole story. In any case, I’d defend Monteux’s character any day (from all accounts a gentleman) over a known liar and creator of BS like Brusilow.
Frank Berger
2020-10-14 02:32:01 UTC
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Post by vhorowitz
I feel that his swipe at Monteux, despite his obvious mentorship and support for Brusilow, at the distance of all of these years, is a tacky attack which is pretty useless for our understanding of Monteux, and from what I’ve heard of Brusilow (and his tendency to come up with a multitude of grievances in his later years) I doubt he told the whole story. In any case, I’d defend Monteux’s character any day (from all accounts a gentleman) over a known liar and creator of BS like Brusilow.
In the aftermath of Brusilow's death there was an outpouring
of love and respect for him from musicians with whom he
worked and former students. Your description of him doesn't
ring true to me. Perhaps he was a little full of himself
and disrespected authority a little. Hardly enough to
condemn him as you have. Again, regarding Monteux, it all
depends on whether Brusilow told the truth about Monteux
ending support for his career because of his marriage. His
booking definitely severely declined. Why would Brusilow
make that up? However quirky Brusilow may have been, I see
no reason to believe he would have lied about Monteux or
Ormandy. In the Ormandy case there seems to have been
witnesses that he snubbed Brusilow.
raymond....@gmail.com
2020-10-14 02:55:11 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
I feel that his swipe at Monteux, despite his obvious mentorship and support for Brusilow, at the distance of all of these years, is a tacky attack which is pretty useless for our understanding of Monteux, and from what I’ve heard of Brusilow (and his tendency to come up with a multitude of grievances in his later years) I doubt he told the whole story. In any case, I’d defend Monteux’s character any day (from all accounts a gentleman) over a known liar and creator of BS like Brusilow.
In the aftermath of Brusilow's death there was an outpouring
of love and respect for him from musicians with whom he
worked and former students. Your description of him doesn't
ring true to me. Perhaps he was a little full of himself
and disrespected authority a little. Hardly enough to
condemn him as you have. Again, regarding Monteux, it all
depends on whether Brusilow told the truth about Monteux
ending support for his career because of his marriage. His
booking definitely severely declined. Why would Brusilow
make that up? However quirky Brusilow may have been, I see
no reason to believe he would have lied about Monteux or
Ormandy. In the Ormandy case there seems to have been
witnesses that he snubbed Brusilow.
In all of this regurgitation of supposed or real grievances, let us not forget that all musicians are human beings, and not some sort of idealistic paragons of virtue and supreme 'beingness'. Otherwise it is my contention they could never have been great musicians, or even human with all that being human entails. Fact is, some people don't get along with certain other people. So what is new?

Ray Hall, Taree
John Fowler
2020-10-14 10:09:48 UTC
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Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Frank Berger
I feel that his swipe at Monteux, despite his obvious mentorship and support for Brusilow, at the distance of all of these years, is a tacky attack which is pretty useless for our understanding of Monteux, and from what I’ve heard of Brusilow (and his tendency to come up with a multitude of grievances in his later years) I doubt he told the whole story. In any case, I’d defend Monteux’s character any day (from all accounts a gentleman) over a known liar and creator of BS like Brusilow.
In the aftermath of Brusilow's death there was an outpouring
of love and respect for him from musicians with whom he
worked and former students. Your description of him doesn't
ring true to me. Perhaps he was a little full of himself
and disrespected authority a little. Hardly enough to
condemn him as you have. Again, regarding Monteux, it all
depends on whether Brusilow told the truth about Monteux
ending support for his career because of his marriage. His
booking definitely severely declined. Why would Brusilow
make that up? However quirky Brusilow may have been, I see
no reason to believe he would have lied about Monteux or
Ormandy. In the Ormandy case there seems to have been
witnesses that he snubbed Brusilow.
In all of this regurgitation of supposed or real grievances, let us not forget that all musicians are human beings, and not some sort of idealistic paragons of virtue and supreme 'beingness'. Otherwise it is my contention they could never have been great musicians, or even human with all that being human entails. Fact is, some people don't get along with certain other people. So what is new?
Ray Hall, Taree
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=anshel+brusilow+philadelphia&i=popular&ref=nb_sb_noss
None of his RCA CDs conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia have been transferred to CD.
He played the violin solo with Ormandy in Rimsky Scheherezade and Vivaldi Four Seasons
John Fowler
2020-10-14 10:14:08 UTC
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Post by John Fowler
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Frank Berger
I feel that his swipe at Monteux, despite his obvious mentorship and support for Brusilow, at the distance of all of these years, is a tacky attack which is pretty useless for our understanding of Monteux, and from what I’ve heard of Brusilow (and his tendency to come up with a multitude of grievances in his later years) I doubt he told the whole story. In any case, I’d defend Monteux’s character any day (from all accounts a gentleman) over a known liar and creator of BS like Brusilow.
In the aftermath of Brusilow's death there was an outpouring
of love and respect for him from musicians with whom he
worked and former students. Your description of him doesn't
ring true to me. Perhaps he was a little full of himself
and disrespected authority a little. Hardly enough to
condemn him as you have. Again, regarding Monteux, it all
depends on whether Brusilow told the truth about Monteux
ending support for his career because of his marriage. His
booking definitely severely declined. Why would Brusilow
make that up? However quirky Brusilow may have been, I see
no reason to believe he would have lied about Monteux or
Ormandy. In the Ormandy case there seems to have been
witnesses that he snubbed Brusilow.
In all of this regurgitation of supposed or real grievances, let us not forget that all musicians are human beings, and not some sort of idealistic paragons of virtue and supreme 'beingness'. Otherwise it is my contention they could never have been great musicians, or even human with all that being human entails. Fact is, some people don't get along with certain other people. So what is new?
Ray Hall, Taree
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=anshel+brusilow+philadelphia&i=popular&ref=nb_sb_noss
None of his RCA CDs conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia have been transferred to CD.
He played the violin solo with Ormandy in Rimsky Scheherezade and Vivaldi Four Seasons
Correction: None of his RCA LPs with Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra have been transferred to CD
Frank Berger
2020-10-14 13:40:39 UTC
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Post by John Fowler
Post by John Fowler
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Frank Berger
I feel that his swipe at Monteux, despite his obvious mentorship and support for Brusilow, at the distance of all of these years, is a tacky attack which is pretty useless for our understanding of Monteux, and from what I’ve heard of Brusilow (and his tendency to come up with a multitude of grievances in his later years) I doubt he told the whole story. In any case, I’d defend Monteux’s character any day (from all accounts a gentleman) over a known liar and creator of BS like Brusilow.
In the aftermath of Brusilow's death there was an outpouring
of love and respect for him from musicians with whom he
worked and former students. Your description of him doesn't
ring true to me. Perhaps he was a little full of himself
and disrespected authority a little. Hardly enough to
condemn him as you have. Again, regarding Monteux, it all
depends on whether Brusilow told the truth about Monteux
ending support for his career because of his marriage. His
booking definitely severely declined. Why would Brusilow
make that up? However quirky Brusilow may have been, I see
no reason to believe he would have lied about Monteux or
Ormandy. In the Ormandy case there seems to have been
witnesses that he snubbed Brusilow.
In all of this regurgitation of supposed or real grievances, let us not forget that all musicians are human beings, and not some sort of idealistic paragons of virtue and supreme 'beingness'. Otherwise it is my contention they could never have been great musicians, or even human with all that being human entails. Fact is, some people don't get along with certain other people. So what is new?
Ray Hall, Taree
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=anshel+brusilow+philadelphia&i=popular&ref=nb_sb_noss
None of his RCA CDs conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia have been transferred to CD.
He played the violin solo with Ormandy in Rimsky Scheherezade and Vivaldi Four Seasons
Correction: None of his RCA LPs with Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra have been transferred to CD
Correction of your correction:

Brusilow directed the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra from
1961-1965. I believe there were no recordings. He directed
the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia from 1965-1968. The
following recordings were are or were available on private
transfers:

Arensky Variations on a theme by Tchaikovsky
Brahms Serenade #1
Cherubini Symphony
Francaix Serenade
Haydn Symphony #60
Ibert Capriccio
Ibert Suite Symphonique
Ravel Tombeau de Couperin
Ravel Tombeau de Couperin
Strauss (Richard) Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme-suite
Tchaikovsky Andante Cantabile (from String Quartet No. 1)
Tchaikovsky Orchestral Suite #4 "Mozartiana"
Wolf Italian Serenade

I think these are all of them.

Sorry for the formatting.
Russ (not Martha)
2020-10-14 15:50:15 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
Brusilow directed the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra from
1961-1965. I believe there were no recordings. He directed
the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia from 1965-1968. The
following recordings were are or were available on private
Arensky Variations on a theme by Tchaikovsky
Brahms Serenade #1
Cherubini Symphony
Francaix Serenade
Haydn Symphony #60
Ibert Capriccio
Ibert Suite Symphonique
Ravel Tombeau de Couperin
Ravel Tombeau de Couperin
Strauss (Richard) Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme-suite
Tchaikovsky Andante Cantabile (from String Quartet No. 1)
Tchaikovsky Orchestral Suite #4 "Mozartiana"
Wolf Italian Serenade
I think these are all of them.
Sorry for the formatting.
Rediscovery transferred Arensky, Brahms, Cherubini, Haydn, Tchaikovsky.

I transferred Françaix, Ibert, Ravel, Strauss, and Wolf, plus the Yardumian 'Come Creator Spirit' with the mezzo Lili Chookasian.

Russ (not Martha)
Frank Berger
2020-10-14 16:33:16 UTC
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Post by Russ (not Martha)
Post by Frank Berger
Brusilow directed the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra from
1961-1965. I believe there were no recordings. He directed
the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia from 1965-1968. The
following recordings were are or were available on private
Arensky Variations on a theme by Tchaikovsky
Brahms Serenade #1
Cherubini Symphony
Francaix Serenade
Haydn Symphony #60
Ibert Capriccio
Ibert Suite Symphonique
Ravel Tombeau de Couperin
Ravel Tombeau de Couperin
Strauss (Richard) Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme-suite
Tchaikovsky Andante Cantabile (from String Quartet No. 1)
Tchaikovsky Orchestral Suite #4 "Mozartiana"
Wolf Italian Serenade
I think these are all of them.
Sorry for the formatting.
Rediscovery transferred Arensky, Brahms, Cherubini, Haydn, Tchaikovsky.
I transferred Françaix, Ibert, Ravel, Strauss, and Wolf, plus the Yardumian 'Come Creator Spirit' with the mezzo Lili Chookasian.
Russ (not Martha)
Somehow you and Discovery didn't transfer Bruslow's
performance of Yardumian's most popular work, The Armenian
Suite (with his 1st Symphony). Is it too late?
Alan Cooper
2020-10-14 18:00:28 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
Somehow you and Discovery didn't transfer Bruslow's
performance of Yardumian's most popular work, The Armenian
Suite (with his 1st Symphony). Is it too late?
You're referring to HNH 4043 = EMI EMD 5527, Brusilow conducting the Bournemouth SO. Never on CD afaik although it has been transferred privately. There also is Columbia ML 5862/MS 6462, Ormandy/PO in the Sym #1 c/w Brusilow as soloist in the Violin Concerto. Also a highly desirable issue, and also never reissued officially afaik. (I have a transfer of the mono issue only.)

AC
Frank Berger
2020-10-14 20:21:19 UTC
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Post by Alan Cooper
Post by Frank Berger
Somehow you and Discovery didn't transfer Bruslow's
performance of Yardumian's most popular work, The Armenian
Suite (with his 1st Symphony). Is it too late?
You're referring to HNH 4043 = EMI EMD 5527, Brusilow conducting the Bournemouth SO. Never on CD afaik although it has been transferred privately. There also is Columbia ML 5862/MS 6462, Ormandy/PO in the Sym #1 c/w Brusilow as soloist in the Violin Concerto. Also a highly desirable issue, and also never reissued officially afaik. (I have a transfer of the mono issue only.)
AC
Who did the transfer of the Armenian Suite and is it
available for sale somewhere?
Russ (not Martha)
2020-10-15 03:19:29 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
Somehow you and Discovery didn't transfer Bruslow's
performance of Yardumian's most popular work, The Armenian
Suite (with his 1st Symphony). Is it too late?
You're referring to HNH 4043 = EMI EMD 5527, Brusilow conducting the Bournemouth SO. Never on CD afaik although it has been transferred privately. There also is Columbia ML 5862/MS 6462, Ormandy/PO in the Sym #1 c/w Brusilow as soloist in the Violin Concerto. Also a highly desirable issue, and also never reissued officially afaik. (I have a transfer of the mono issue only.)
AC
Some time back I transferred to CD the two Ormandy Columbia stereo LPs of Yardumian works:

Symphonies #1 & 2
Violin Concerto
Passacaglia, Recitativo, & Fugue for PF & Orch
Cantus Animus et Cordis
Chorale-Prelude

Was tempted to give the transfers a 'theme' title of 'Yard Work' but decided that was a little too facetious.

Russ (not Martha)

Frank Berger
2020-10-14 14:00:45 UTC
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Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Frank Berger
I feel that his bswipe at Monteux, despite his obvious mentorship and support for Brusilow, at the distance of all of these years, is a tacky attack which is pretty useless for our understanding of Monteux, and from what I’ve heard of Brusilow (and his tendency to come up with a multitude of grievances in his later years) I doubt he told the whole story. In any case, I’d defend Monteux’s character any day (from all accounts a gentleman) over a known liar and creator of BS like Brusilow.
In the aftermath of Brusilow's death there was an outpouring
of love and respect for him from musicians with whom he
worked and former students. Your description of him doesn't
ring true to me. Perhaps he was a little full of himself
and disrespected authority a little. Hardly enough to
condemn him as you have. Again, regarding Monteux, it all
depends on whether Brusilow told the truth about Monteux
ending support for his career because of his marriage. His
booking definitely severely declined. Why would Brusilow
make that up? However quirky Brusilow may have been, I see
no reason to believe he would have lied about Monteux or
Ormandy. In the Ormandy case there seems to have been
witnesses that he snubbed Brusilow.
In all of this regurgitation of supposed or real grievances, let us not forget that all musicians are human beings, and not some sort of idealistic paragons of virtue and supreme 'beingness'. Otherwise it is my contention they could never have been great musicians, or even human with all that being human entails. Fact is, some people don't get along with certain other people. So what is new?
Ray Hall, Taree
The 4 instances of conflict that Brusilow highights with
Monteux, Szell and Ormandy and the Dallas Symphony are not
examples of "not being able to get along." According to
Brusilow, Monteux stopped supporting his solo career when
and because he got married. Szell wouldn't let him out of
his contract in Cleveland to go to Philadelphia, and Ormandy
turned on him because Brusilow started conducting in
Philadelphia which he had promised (by his own admission)
not to do. By then it seems he was committed to a
conducting career and really had no choice. The Dallas
Symphony was in turmoil before Brusilow arrived. Whether
the incident wherein composers were supposedly paying to get
their works performed had anything to do with Brusilow in
not clear according to media reports. He doesn't mention it
in the book. Could be selective memory, I guess. That whole
business sounds kind of weird. Again, the people who worked
with Brusilow seem to have loved and respected him.
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