William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

The Many Stories of Bill Fitzpatrick: Tchaikovsky in Georgia

How Prof. Fitzpatrick played this violin concerto without receiving a single applause

In this video, Prof Fitzpatrick tells a story about playing Tchaikovsky's concerto and receiving no applauses.

Released on November 17, 2021

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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

While at Juilliard, Dr. Johnson, the conductor of the Nashville Symphony, asked me to perform the Tchaikovsky concerto with the Nashville Youth Orchestra in Georgia, and I accepted. It was the night of the concert, and the first to go on stage was Dr. Johnson. He was met with applause, and then I followed, and the applause dwindled to nothing. They looked stunned. I bowed anyway and then turned to tune. It was at that point that I decided not to turn around. So, I ended up playing the concerto for the orchestra. I finished and received a huge applause from the orchestra, but nothing from the public. So I left and went outside to think and walked a bit, but then I realized that I should probably not be roaming around. So I went back to the bus and waited for everyone else to return.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Tosh Hayashi * VSM MEMBER * on November 17, 2021 @5:41 pm PST
This must have been most puzzling to you. Do you think it was a
"race" incident perpetrated by a white audience? Did you ever
get any insight or information as to what took place?
William - host, on November 19, 2021 @3:12 pm PST
Hi! Yes the audience was white. It was in the early 70's so there weren't many black violinists back then......
George Mahida * VSM MEMBER * on November 17, 2021 @2:15 am PST
What were you thinking while waiting for everyone to return? I am interested in self talk after performance. I appreciate your sharing your personal stories.
George Mahida
PS Do you have recording of the performance? If you do please post it.
William - host, on November 19, 2021 @3:14 pm PST
Hi! No this was early 70"s so recording was not like today! As fir my thoughts I just kept my eyes on the goal
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