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Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music Paperback – June 8, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
By age 16, the author of this alternately piquant and morose memoir was dealing marijuana, bedding her instructors at a performing arts high school and studying the oboe. Later, her blossoming career as a freelance musician in New York introduced her to a classical music demimonde of cocaine parties and group sex that had her wondering why she "got hired for so many of my gigs in bed." But the vivace of the chapters on her bohemian salad days subsides to a largo as she heads toward 40 and the sex and drugs recede along with dreams of stardom; the reality of a future in Broadway orchestra pits (where she reads magazines as she plays to stave off boredom) sets in. Tindall escaped to journalism, but her resentment of an industry that "squeezed me dry of spontaneity" and turns other musicians into hollow-eyed "galley slaves" is raw. She mounts a biting critique of the conservatories that churn out thousands of graduates each year to pursue a handful of jobs, the superstar conductors and soloists who lord it over orchestral peons and a fine arts establishment she depicts as bloated and ripe for downsizing. Tindall's bitterness over what might still strike many readers as a pretty great career is a bit overdone, but she offers a fresh, highly readable and caustic perspective on an overglamorized world. Photos. Agent, James Fitzgerald. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From The New Yorker
For the author, an oboist and journalist, a certain Upper West Side apartment building, long popular with musicians, is a metaphor for classical music in America today: a Beaux-Arts façade masking an increasingly decrepit infrastructure. Tindall's book, her first, is hardly free of false notes. Paragraphs full of dire predictions and alarming statistics jibe a little too conveniently with her tales of professional disappointment and sexual promiscuity. As Tindall sleeps her way to the bottom, we learn more than we probably need to about the sex lives of some more or less prominent American musicians. But Tindall's central complaint—that the classical-music world has created a crisis by training too many musicians and supporting a culture of exorbitant pay for a few fortunate stars—is difficult to refute.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
I have a child with such a career but thanks to school districts having music programs she has a good income. She performs but that almost makes enough money to attend music festivals or schools around the country. She has a fall back of being qualified to teach math. Unless you want your son making most of his/her money thru waiting on tables, have them get an alternative career. The Boston Pops may not call.
I also like seeing the lives of the young hopefuls who flock to New York with big dreams and small bank accounts, and how they make the best of their situations while looking for love.
I loved it and would recommend to anyone who has even the slightest interest in classical music and creativity.
Having said that; I look forward to watching the television show, but hopefully, the TV show will reflect more of the spirit and conclusions, drawn by Blair Tindall, in the book.
Most recent customer reviews
I loved the book and the character of the author. Well worh reading: I see why it was made into a series.Read more