When I look at this situation objectively, it is almost staggering. It can be asked, in fact, from my perspective, whether or not a 200M arts organization was brought to a grinding halt in order to deal with critical issues of the organization, of course, but also to begin to undo damage done to me and my family and set things moving on a more constructive course. Of course, while some of those on the other end of this situation might titter and chortle and this assertion, I think that I can demonstrate that it has merit. And if there is any possibility this is the case, would it not speak to not only the presence of something extraordinary, which can only be called, as more than one MO player and others have acknowledged, ‘the real magic flute’, but as an example of how it works to stop wickedness in its tracks and turn everything to be used for good?
I must have had one of the most unorthodox entries into the underworld of classical music of anyone who ever attempted to enter it ‘seriously’ — young, single mother of three beautiful little children, initially working as a model, of all thing, to provide support for my family. When I called the at-that-time principal flute to ask if he might take me on as a student, I was almost apologetic. I was also hopelessly naive. My teacher switched pieces on me at the first lesson, from something I wanted to work on, to something they liked. Then he complained bitterly about the name change to Minnesota Orchestra from Minneapolis Symphony, which had occurred some years earlier. Understandably, I was quite puzzled, but, at that point, had no framework from which to object. He then proceeded to send me out on various rabbit trails, which I eventually came to realize meant that he had no intention of teaching me to do anything but fail.
I eventually realized that I had, in effect, walked into a trap. I blamed myself, for being so atypical. But were they really just lying in wait…? :-O
As I was struggling to find my way, plunged in an atypical (to say the least) manner in the traditional classical “underworld of music”, studying flute seriously while being treated in what seemed a very disrespectful and unpredictable manner by my Minnesota Orchestra Principal teacher, Profs at the UofM, and other so-called “professionals”, I used to think, “if only I could get to Heifetz, he would understand,” and, “if only Heifetz were my teacher, others would have to treat me with respect.” Though merely a flute player, I did everything I could to pursue the dream of becoming one of his students, but to no avail. With Heifetz’ integrity of playing, exquisite artistry, and classical calm, I felt that he alone may have held the answers to any question I might had about the flute. When one of these players exclaimed, after hearing me practice a section of the Brahms violin concerto on the stage at Orchestra Hall, that I had “more power than Heifetz” I was furious. Nobody had more power than Heifetz, I thought at that time; though I have since modified my position to say that was true in many of the pieces he recorded. Though I did not realize it at the time, Heifetz had become, in essence, my teacher, through his recordings, and he could do no wrong. In fact, when he died, I felt as though I had lost a personal friend.
In my naivete I sincerely believed that because my musical situation was so unusual I had myself triggered the bullying reactions of so many “professionals”, it was not until recently that a door opened into the deep abyss that the students of Heifetz seemed to have faced. It is a thread on the Slipped Disc blog, that has turned out to be insightful and informative, and terrifyingly real: http://slippedisc.com/2014/07/high-explosive-aaron-rosand-accuses-isaac-stern-of-sabotaging-his-career/
Hopefully, this thread will help many who have been victims of bullying to regain their self-respect and calm. I know it has help me to do so…
As events unfold, my frustration increases. Now, not only is there a major arts group that refuses to hear die zauberflote and help bring it to the public at the level of the press, there also seems to be at least one educational organization and one religious organization who are also, in effect, locking me out. For legal as well as artistic purposes, I lump them together under the term “Monostatos”, after a character who happened to be the wicked servant in Serastro’s temple in Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflote.
I can say without a doubt that many here in Minnesota know exactly what die zauberflote represents. In fact, it seems that I don’t even seem to need to pick up the flute — people start ducking and backing away the minute I open my mouth. Why is this? Let me share my thoughts…
I think it was because of die zauberflote that Wolf was killed, whether deliberately, or through an attack of darkness I call ‘the vortex of the evil eye’ — many people in agreement that he had to die. It was this gift, this extra energy, this ‘shalom’ that can even be heard in his music when played by those who despised him — called the “Mozart effect”. When I play die zauberflote, the effect might be called ‘the Mozart effect on steroids.’ Some people weep with joy; others gnash their teeth. In a blink of an eye, a friend can be revealed as an adversary, and years of a relationship can be shown to be a sham. It cleaves, divides, and gets the poison out. It turns everything upside down, but uses everything for good. It flattens all of us who hear it, my family included.
Because of this gift, and therefore for the same reason, I think, alive, Mozart was considered dangerous. And so, apparently, am I. Wolf was silenced. I am supposed to have been silenced, through being ‘locked-out’ by those I would expect would leap at the opportunity to help mentor this great gift to the human family.
Nevertheless, as I hope you can see, anyone who plans to align themself with the great master Mozart must have tenacity. And so I am moving forward with a video, called “Out of Night and Fog.” And I am moving forward with locked-out concerts that will also be shared online, so that anyone can hear for themselves what all the fuss is about and decide for themselves what to think…
I had the privilege of living in San Francisco some time ago. I lived across from the Japanese Trade Center, in Nihomachi. I had to be dragged away kicking and screaming as we left (in a business-related move) for Boston. I never got over it. However, when I lived there I chose not to play the flute. I was, in fact, in rebellion against just about everyone. While I remain locked-out and stuck in Minnesota, the Bay area is my chosen home. During the wet and wintry spring here, especially, I go to a local Asian market, to walk through the aisles and pretend that I am really near Grant Ave and Stockton St. Then I buy some mochi, remembering the joy of eating mochi in the open pavilion in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. Instead of letting the endless cold get me down, I call it a “mochi day”. Often when I lived in San Francisco I drove or took the 38 bus down Geary Blvd. to Ocean Beach. I inevitably looked out at the Pacific and thought, with both excitement and trepidation, that this was really the jumping-off spot to the Orient. In 2011 I made a pilgrimage to San Francisco to see the Chinese New Year parade, which I also miss terribly. It poured that entire day. The participants were covered in plastic ponchos. It didn’t matter. It was fabulous… But then a snowstorm hit the Twin Cities hard, and all the flights back were canceled. While waiting to schedule a flight back I phoned a family member who lives in L.A. and we talked for quite a while, catching up. I played the flute every day on that trip, as I do when I am on the West Coast, to make up for my earlier dereliction. A few days later I returned to the bitter Minnesota cold. Warm fuzzy memories of the trip were all that were left to me. Until the middle of March when I woke up to discover that Japan had moved 8 feet in a terrible earthquake and tsunami. This week I spoke to the same family member by phone, catching up once again. I didn’t think much of it until I read that the supertyphoon Neoguri was taking aim at Okinawa. My heart sank. So I will be playing the flute for all those affected by this storm. It always helps.
In the opening scene of the slanderous play/movie AMADEUS, two servants whisper to each other about their employer, Salieri. They wonder about his involvement in the death of Mozart. Whispers and slandering were, in fact, a daily part of the life and death of Wolfgang Mozart. From the time he was first presented to the public he incurred controversy. He was being coached. Leopold was really composing his music. Many of the statements were ridiculous. Some of them stuck. Many came from his own kin — his father might as well have cursed Wolf’s ability to use money, as he complained about his failings so often, for example. And, of course, there were dire consequences in Mozart’s life because of the constant scrutiny and whispering and ill-intent. Mozart lived his life in the center of a vortex that closed in on him and ended up with his untimely death. The venticelli of slander played a big part in his demised.
I too have venticelli. I went through a phase where I spent so much time wondering why some people seemed to try to get close to me only to flatter me to my face and slander me behind my back that I found it counterproductive and gave up. There was nothing I could do about this illogical and sinister behavior. Later it occurred to me that I had been blissfully naive of the hidden ill-intent of these people in the first place. It took me quite a while to realize that I had a choice in involving anyone with ill-intent in my life, in fact. Since some of these deceptive souls happened to be a part of my family, that made my decision quite complicated. In some cases, even when I attempted to distance myself from those who attacked me with direct disrespect as well as subtle contempt, they managed to insinuate themselves into the lives of my children, in effect, forcing me to contend with them against my will. One of them attempted to poison three generations of a handful of my family members against me, someone who comes regularly from halfway around the world to do so. Another is in a major musical group.
Apparently, I was not supposed to have survived this treatment, which I call a ‘vortex of the evil eye’. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see what choices they make as I come forward at the level of the press…stay tuned…:-0
During the recent lockout of a musical group with which I happen to have a tangential, though significant, connection, I asked, as a part of their family, so to speak, for their help in coming forward with die zauberflote at the level of the press. That seemed to me to create a win-win situation — something this group could really use right now.
However, that request was declined, and so now I am moving forward on my own. I will be scheduling concerts in the near future, to formally share die zauberflote and its extraordinary significance with the common people of the state of Minnesota — the salt of the earth, so to speak. I will also begin to address the issues that have prevented me from coming forward before now. I will also do my best to put die zauberflote of the 21st century and Wolfgang Mozart of the 18th century in context. A more profound mystery in the history of classical music I will defy anyone to present.
My concerts at this point will include only music of other locked-out performers. Of course, that means the music of Wolfgang Mozart who was indeed locked-out of the respect and affluence that he deserved by those who despised him and caused his untimely death. They will also, I hope, include the music of some of those musicians, especially women who composed, who were sucked into the wicked vortex of the Holocaust and its horrible camps. What I have suffered is merely superficial to what those courageous and brilliant women did. One example is quote from the astounding violinist Alma Rose, niece of our beloved Gustav Mahler, who created an orchestra in Auschwitz, keeping many women alive, with urged them to do their best with this gruesome reminder — “play well or we go to the gas”.