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Carnegie Hall
Classical musicians and the terror of the audition
Classical musicians and the terror of the audition

Audition. The word can unleash terror in performers of all kinds, but perhaps none more than musicians seeking to fill scarce symphony orchestra openings. A fudged note, a slack attack, a harsh tone, a hint of hesitancy, a sagging pitch — any of these could spell the end to a job prospect. "Today, perfection is a requirement," says David Taylor, assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. "You must have flawless intonation, you must be a machine." "If not," says Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Mitch Newman, "if you didn't have a good day — after putting your whole life into getting to this moment — it could...

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