William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

The Many Stories of Bill Fitzpatrick: Phoenix Review

How a musician can get hurt from a music performance review

In this video, Prof. Fitzpatrick tells a story about a published performance review.

Released on January 5, 2022

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

It was the morning after a concert in Phoenix in the late 70ís and we were having breakfast at the hotel before leaving for the airport. I asked my colleagues if there was a review and they said no. So later while boarding I saw a newspaper and took it. I started reading from the back sports section and then went to the entertainment section and thatís when I saw it. The review said that the New York String Quartet, the only major string quartet led by a black personÖ and then went on to pan the concert. That the review was bad didnít bother me but saying that we were the only major string quartet led by a black person really angered me as surely they would not have said that about.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Tosh Hayashi * VSM MEMBER * on January 6, 2022 @7:10 am PST
It seems you were reviewed by a bigot. And perhaps by an incompetent one. Music critics are sometimes, maybe even often,
completely off the mark. A famous example was a well known critic who reviewed the premiere performance of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto and concluded that the music only lent itself to violently beating up the violin, so to speak...clearly he had absolutely no understanding of the wonderful things contained in that piece. Makes you wonder if the best thing is to ignore music reviews altogether, since I would argue that any good musician knows introspectively whether his performance was good or lacking in something. One could almost say there are those who can perform and others who can only criticize...
George Mahida * VSM MEMBER * on January 5, 2022 @3:44 am PST
Professor Fitzpatrick I like your stories. I am glad you point out racism in classical music industry. It is obvious to those like us. But majority are oblivious to our reality. This means it is up to us to make others aware of this situation. I am glad you shared this video.
William - host, on January 6, 2022 @2:20 am PST
Hi and thanks for your comment! Its important!
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