Canadian “Ring,” Lang Lang’s Beethoven, Divans, Something American

Letter from Jiwon to Barenboim’s Israel on November 28, 2007

Dear Barenboim’s Israel,

Dear Folks,

For your convenience, my (official) previous mail was sent on March 2, 2007.

In case there are Government Ministers who are naïve/deaf/stupid enough to regard any performance of Elena Bashkirova-Kremer-Barenboim as very similar to Daniel Barenboim, I heartily recommend them to ignore the rest of this message and just remember that “I received something from Jiwon on the issue of Barenboim.” Thanks.

Just in case, I include the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra among my mail recipients.

Again, my (official) previous mail was sent on March 2, 2007. It was the day I was expecting official answer from Whom-It-May-Concern. As time passed, I forgot who was/were prime minister, or mayor of the city of Jerusalem, Knesset members, or ambassador of Israel. Things will change very fast in Israel, as usual, and nothing will matter unless I become part of their history, either as their friend or foe.

November 15th was days ago. It was also the day, on which Daniel Barenboim was born sixty five years ago. I believe. I should not celebrate this day because I’ve been considered nobody or even a troublemaker. I just know that Daniel Barenboim planned his Meier party on my birthday.

This is what I found in recent days: Selection from the movie scrip, Ratatouille,

In many ways,
the work of a critic is easy.
We risk very little,
yet enjoy a position over those
who offer up their work
and their selves to our judgment.
We thrive on negative criticism,
which is fun to write and to read.
But the bitter truth we critics must face
is that in the grand scheme of things,
the average piece of junk
is probably more meaningful
than our criticism designating it so.
But there are times
when a critic truly risks something
and that is in the discovery
and defense of the new.
The world is often unkind
to new talent, new creations.
The new needs friends.
Last night,
I experienced something new,
an extraordinary meal
from a singularly unexpected source.
To say that both the meal
and its maker
have challenged my preconceptions
about fine cooking
is a gross understatement.
They have rocked me to my core.
In the past, I have made no secret
of my disdain
for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto,
“Anyone can cook. “
But I realize only now
do I truly understand what he meant.
Not everyone
can become a great artist,
but a great artist
can come from anywhere.
It is difficult to imagine
more humble origins
than those of the genius
now cooking at Gusteau’s,
who is, in this critic’s opinion,
nothing less
than the finest chef in France.
I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon,
hungry for more.

JIWON:

I laughed. Oh, my god! What fascinates me in this movie was that Mr. Anton Ego lost his critic-job and became a ‘rich’ business investor. He no more has to taste ‘NO’ food to survive his living. That was a great ending. What’s the difference between the music critic and the food critic?

My mail recipients will include Mr. Anthony Tommasini along with Barenboim’s Israeli folks. When he was called the chief critic of the New York Times, I thought they were playing games with me until I recently found his official name in public places.

After sending my previous mail, I wanted to clean my room. Something was there and it was a demo-tape, which was sent by my forgotten friend from Germany. I couldn’t believe my ears. She couldn’t follow her German professor and even had an audience supporting her favorite idea of music making. Her professor’s name was something Hoffman(n), quite a German fame as far as I know. By then, her tape meant no more than friendship to me, who was busy at advising her how to do her best to follow the teachers. I assume that her brain would rank among the top ten in my age. Unlike the most girls, including myself, whose prime goal of life was achieving the foreign diploma, she really wanted to grow into a professional performer.

As expected, her miserable German life ended up in a mental hospital and was followed by couple of happenings. Her sister even cut the friendship with me because I questioned something-mental or something-sex while reporting her situation in foreign land. It was in America where I realized that the entire music school could become a bullshit-politics, that what a fucking life she had to manage for six years, that what a fool I had been to counsel others’ life, and that my miserable life could follow her case. Since that day, I had been examining my face in the mirror every morning to check if I really became insane. Years later now, I am sitting in my room and listening to her music again.

How come this famed German professor didn’t know how to teach his troublesome student? How come he didn’t know how to free her out of his academic ego instead of wasting quite a portion of his time destroying her student-life, if he really had no idea how to teach this Asian teenage girl? I tried not to write down his name whenever I mentioned this story until I found this tape.

Hey, she was a little Barenboim. Less than Barenboim the soloist but more than Barenboim the accompanist. And I heard that as she lost her health, she went to the extreme side of her pianism. She was always searching for teachers and once told me that she wanted to study with Russian pianists. Her pianism couldn’t join Russian schooling, but then what really means Russian sound? Meanwhile, the Russian pianist Elena Bashkirova was busy at her prostitution at this same age or even before it, and her music still sounds stupid and she is indeed poisonous as an accompanist, yet already by then, she was able to make her appearance as a soloist with the major orchestras in Tel Aviv, Paris, Munchen and so on… Just funny to compare the two cases. I’m suspecting if she heard Bashkirova. It could have led her to believe that she was enough talented to defy her German professor. High possibility remains in this scenario.

Who should be blamed in this case? The student or the teacher? I still can’t accept the students, whose only job is to defy their teacher. How much was I sick of American students in Kansas City, the small place where rumors about me were spreading real fast? While I was preparing to return to Korea without finishing my degree program, some professors had special reasons to encourage me to transfer into ‘their’ favorite music school. I couldn’t accept it for fear that I would join those greedy eyes, that their Korean students would bother me more and more, and that my instrument wouldn’t speak in the end.

Perhaps… this is why I can never accept Prof. Bloch while cursing myself for being forced to study with her. That figure against her professorship should not be me. She was not Alice Clevenger, who was merely a bimbo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but a strict professor, who didn’t want me as her student when Clevenger asked her, so I couldn’t complain about my awful situation in her working place until… No matter what, she planned her further project when I promised to follow her. Then she went even further after I left her. I don’t think there should be anything to correct misunderstanding between us, because I can tell who were(!) behind her funny teaching and she also knew what a life is to live in a small country like mine, where local politics is more important than academic achievement.

It may be my last mail, so I will this time directly send my writings to Mr. Tommasini. I am not interested in ordering a new sense of hierarchy in his working place. If he were the chief critic, he would know how to circulate or ignore my writings.

To cut the long story short,

For more than 10 years since I left Chicago, I’ve been failing in all my works.

I will fail again, and this time, I don’t want to finish my life as a homeless sleeping in the cold street. I’ve been busy after sending my previous mail. I need to be busier and busier.

Contrary to all my logics, however, the instinct still tells me that they are waiting something from me. Who are they, and what is something? This time, the same instinct leads me to nowhere.

They say that the marriage system still exists in Barenboim’s world. Funny…

In my world, if a man wants to start his another life with another woman, his previous story has to be done first. Then he needs a feeling of loneliness. Of course, he never has to be lonely again to start his next story. He just has to bump into a woman, whose special quality he wants to spend the rest of his life together with.

What about the case of You-Know-Who and the b*tches around him?

Did the folks change their plan ‘again’ and decide to protect Elena Bashkirova by promoting Waltraud Meier as Barenboim’s ‘only’ Angel, as they did years ago reporting on the radio that the two famed Wagnerians are ‘now’ sleeping together in their Berlin home as a lawless couple? Since I recorded his lecture on Barenboim’s sex-life, no one can question my memory.

What is HIS reason?

Everybody now knows that this voice is not what Mr. Wanna-Be-Furtwangler should hunger for his Wagner dream. Then, is Daniel Barenboim really deaf? If so, how come this toward-seventy guy dares to express his professional dream, especially with me, who never plan to be deaf? If not, Waltraud Meier must be Barenboim’s only girl, even in his next life. Then, what’s the reason of folks’ trying to trap me again and again? I am tired.

Does Barenboim say that he loved his wife and is still missing his private life with this legendary cellist? Perhaps, what he is still longing for is good old days from his lost youth. Since her death or even before it, Barenboim has enjoyed every moment of his life with the lovers, and all the girls are still alive, publicly making clear that Barenboim is their mentor, and that they would follow Barenboim until the end of their time. Barenboim is happy about their declaration/confession of love/faith.

I am born whoever’s assistant. It’s my nature and I can’t change it. The happiest moment of my life was when I returned from my Chicago trip, which was before my study in America, and played couple of notes with my favorite sound as an assistant horn. Folks made a quick response to my couple of notes and my miserable life started… Still, I am perfectly happy to live in a hotel room working for my boss. But I spit on anyone who tries to steer me. It is beyond my hatred and I can’t help it, perhaps due to my past life with Xs. It is also beyond my friendship.

This is an article about Prof. Robert Burgelman at the Stanford University.

http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2007/06/29/2007062900893.html (June 29, 2007) No need to translate this article…

For me, a true friendship is like the one between Prof. Robert Burgelman and Andy Grove. Since I don’t know Grove’s side, perhaps, I may agree with Burgelman only. I am thinking. If I were born an American student, could my brain be accepted in his classroom? My niece said that only a genius can enter the Stanford. His lecturing was exactly what I’ve been looking for since I became sick of Barenboim’s directorship either in Chicago or in Berlin or even in Jerusalem. I can provide him an excellent case study; Barenboim and Mehta. Barenboim and his orchestras.

Being different from most girls, I neither follow my jealousy nor my sympathy. I only follow my analysis. I analyze everything, including my instinct.

Nothing makes sense here.

Of course, I heard it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/19/arts/music/19ring.html (September 19, 2006) Four Directors Give Toronto a Many-Splendored ‘Ring’

It’s been years that I gave Mr. Tommasini all the valuable information about how to analyze music, by listening to relationship between the voices, between the instruments, and between the voice and the instruments. How come this dumb critic is writing an article like this? Does he really not know the reason of his writing?

My analysis has always been simple and the keyword has always been Waltraud Meier. How WM sounds like today and why does WM sound like WM of today? Who sounds like WM? Who wants to imitate WM, while they possess better talent than WM? Whether talented or not, who wants to follow WM and why? Who are playing for WM and why? What about the recording system, which is designed to catch WM’s voice? What costume looks hot enough to be monopolized by WM’s voice? What about the photographic technique, which fails to catch animated moments of talented diva but works terrific for MW’s sexism?

It sounds stupid even to me, but to everyone’s surprise, I was able to prove almost everything by using this keyword. The only thing missing here is that it was impossible to discover all those legendary voices and their fabulous music while prowling around the forums with the keyword, Waltraud Meier. While the intelligent critics elsewhere were being deaf chained by their professionalism and their ego, the forumites, especially Barenboim-lovers, just seemed to ignore Meier’s fame and its trashy voice whenever commenting on their favorite voices, which had been buried long time ago.

I cannot accept this, too. If they were truly Barenboim-lovers, if they really wanted to hear more music from their Barenboim, they should have criticized their maestro more harshly with the exact words so that he could drink a fresh cup of coffee every morning. It can’t be their excuses that their favorite Tristan or Parsifal could sound quite average even with funny female voice and it could contribute to the sold-out concert. Because Barenboim’s Wagner with a true female voice can mean falling in love with Barenboim.

If they truly loathed watching a fat, ugly piece screeching in their Wagner-show, they should have criticized Meier’s trashy voice as well as Meier’s ‘beloved’ rivals, who are only allowed to perform with Barenboim. Because singing muscles with only fat can never produce their favorite Wagnerian dramatic high voice: That Meier’s sexy Wagner sounds rubbish is one issue. That I’ve never heard of fat female singers concentrating on each note, seriously enough to be heard as a hot interpretation is another issue. Not only their voice sounds obese, their music sounds casual or even lazy.

I am done, anyway. Now it’s his turn to analyze why this Canadian Wagner sounds like what he heard. I read it, and know why Mr. Tommasini was lost in his article. So I had to find another one to go further.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/02/arts/music/02ring.html (August 2, 2006) A ‘Ring’ at Bayreuth, as Beauty Shines Through Newness

Is the conductor Barenboim aware of that Waltraud Meier is scared of her juniors soaring over the Green Hill? All the conductors seem to know it and I’m pretty sure that they enjoy watching Barenboim crash into deaf. We are living in a highly competitive world, aren’t we?

No sooner had the keyword, Elena Bashkirova, disappeared from the Google search engine than Waltraud Meier announced her Barenboim-schedule.

It’s been more than ten years since my first writing and there has been no hint of change in my opinion/analysis. Now, Barenboim is toward seventy and almost the end of his professional career. I don’t understand why folks still believe that they can play games with me, who has no interest in who will be the winner or loser. I want to spend the rest of my life with my favorites only, from music to person.

When this fucking voice proudly announced her Barenboim-schedule, Waltraud Meier also knew when to finish it, because this time, I don’t plan to answer her failing fame. What I feel funny is that even Barenboim seems to believe that my jealousy is involved in this affair rather than facing the fact that Meier is using Barenboim’s faulty misjudgment about my Meier-writings to block her Bayreuth rivals to sing for Maestro Barenboim.

Therefore, I will wait. I will wait till Barenboim’s Wanger performances blossom with proper voices. Waltraud Meier will let me know.

http://www.waltraud-meier.com/html/e/frame_e.html

I invite everybody to watch this show. How long will it take for Barenboim to be sick of this voice? If his reason is to realize his Furtwangler dream with this voice, I recommend Waltraud Meier to have him and fuck him. Legally and forever, I mean.

Of course, I will keep my plan. Whether I follow my instinct or not, I want to finish my plan. I just opened my Gmail account. How long will it take? I need to finish my present project first, making a vocabulary book for my kids. (I found couple of good books at the store, yet they still don’t sell this kind, weird.)

Just in case, I become part of You-Know-Who’s history, I promise that I will never give up chasing Elena Bashkirova, to check if Barenboim-Gang is still behind supporting her professional career, and to figure out who are boasting about their relationship with Barenboim after their trash ensemble business with this fucking pianist. In the end, Bashkirova would have to deal with Meier’s begging for her accompaniment.

If folks’ primary concern is to support Bashkirova’s professional career behind the scene, I will do this job in an open place. Don’t worry about her future, please. I will make this pianist an international celebrity, for whom Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv is too small. I believe her sincere audience would welcome her pianism more if they knew all the facts about her prostitution. It seems that, using her Jewish fame, she’s already found her fans in other places, rather than Jerusalem. Why not more? She shall become a commercially valuable entertainment jewel for her management company. I promise.

I will let you know when I open my blog, but I don’t know when my next official writing will be. Only Daniel Barenboim and Waltraud Meier would know.

Sincerely yours,

Jiwon

P.S. 1. Concerning Lang Lang’s Beethoven,

It sounds like a monkey. While imitating Barenboim’s tone-making technique, Lang lost his major characteristics, which I believe made this circus-boy a popular pianist. Lang was physically fresh/immature, and therefore, while dancing on the piano chair, he was able to utilize all his physical ability, which resulted in both major and minor characteristics in his tone-making. Sooner or later, he will lose his youth. What will happen to this physical sound?

I think. Had he just continued to concentrate on what he was doing and followed his better sound, instead of imitating Barenboim’s words, words, and words, he could have achieved what Barenboim explained in his masterclass in the most effective way. Years would take for a boy to achieve it, though. What I feel funny about this Beethoven is that Lang never questions his performance while running on the keyboard. Doesn’t he really know the basic difference between Schnabel’s pianism and Barenboim’s?

While listening to Lang’s Beethoven, a thought occurred to me.

I was forced to watch these and those who gathered around Barenboim. They study Furtwangler then sound like Go-To-Hell. I had to think. Whoever joins Barenboim’s Furtwangler dream, he turns into a trash. Moreover, I start to hear something Furtwangler from the opposite side of Barenboim. I hear this music from those who never consider Barenboim as their mentor or even their friend.

I was among those who don’t believe in the effect of Mozart music in prenatal education. Mozart’s mother didn’t listen to Mozart while expecting her baby, yet Elena Bashkirova was surely born with this music.

Furtwangler didn’t study Furtwangler. He’d just absorbed all the possible knowledge from his predecessors. He’d just spent his whole life studying music. While concentrating his every each note, he pondered about the meaning of every each note in his scores, which were the only proof of the great composers.

P.S. 2. Concerning Divans’ Tchaikovsky No. 6 at the Lucern Festival

I don’t think the Divans will welcome my analysis.

I’ve been worried… worried that folks will do their best to train their youngsters and make fun of me by proving Divans’ fabulous ensemble. Whoever they are, youngsters are youngsters, and I’ve worried infinite possibilities of the young power. They are now proving what is like du Pre’s cello contributing the worst sound of the Jerusalem Quartet these days.

While I was worrying that Waltraud Meier might be able to improve after her hard working, she just did her very best boasting her ‘unique personality.’ Waltraud Meier sounded funnier and funnier. I’ve worried and now… How come those youngsters sound purely professional; enough professional to sound like their professors from Barenboim’s ensemble, where the leaders always sound worse than the followers?

I assume that Barenboim used his own scoring, which is famous for the string section sound. Funny that no string section leaders listen to their concertmaster. I’ve expected that their wind section would sound perfectly out-of-tune, but it is funnier to hear each string leaders being busy at searching for their opportunity to lead the ensemble. Which part should be functioned as a pillar? There is one. What is the worst among them? Barenboim’s best friend is the one. I don’t think I am the only one, since interesting comments are found in the Youtube.com. However, the keyword ‘DIVAN’ won’t work to find those comments.

Youtube.com also gives you good information about Barenboim’s son. First, watch Bashkirova accompanying the young violinist, who shows exactly how he is failing with the poor pianist. Then imagine Barenboim’s son playing with this same musician. Then watch his playing in Barenboim’s Divan ensemble. It will tell you everything about his problems. What a poor boy…

This is a festival orchestra. As far as I know, this is not a youth orchestra, but a wannabe-professional orchestra, part of its members already lost their youth but still failed to find their monthly salary. Basically, these members are not enough qualified to play this piece. Technically, I mean. For me, being able to join in-tuned ensemble with specific sound is also a certain kind of technique, while it is easy for an inferior group to prove in-tuned ensemble with dull, dead sound. But who else in the major orchestra can prove this highly trained technique? To be fair…

So, what I want to hear from this ensemble is not their present techniques but their future performance; their intention to join the ensemble in a real professional sense; their capability to follow the better sound whenever their ensemble is in danger of breaking up. What do I hear from them? Speechless.

Since the typical members in Barenboim’s Divan ensemble are from professional orchestras in the Middle East, I need exact information about each sound. I assume that the solo horn is from Israeli orchestra. This horn reminds me of my Korean boss, whose Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Si was slightly different from string section’s. To be fair, he was not like Barenboim’s Glander, whose intention to play in-tuned I’ve never heard of. He used to practice for the electronic tuner and it worked with the piano. But his sound didn’t blend with the string section, and his tuning system just flew into some weird place whenever he played ‘for’ the orchestra. To be exact, the solo horn here is worse than my Korean boss, because he is out-of-tune even in a soft dynamic, ‘thanks to’  his favorite booming sound. I really feel pity for his section members. But do they deserve my sympathy? The solo horn tells me quite a lot about the present situation of Barenboim’s Israel.

One should ignore their playing Schoenberg, for it sounds like contemporary music. For me, it still belongs to the classical music, which should sound very difficult and pure. Divans sound very easy and ugly.

And my last word: those fucking X-members… whatever they play, wherever they go, the useless ones. (I don’t want my words to work for their improvement…)

P.S. 3. Concerning Something American,

http://www.ipo.co.il/list/list.asp (March 19-21, 2008) Christoph von Dohnanyi, conductor / Elena Bashkirova, pianist

Schumann: Piano Concerto / Stravinsky: The Firebird

http://www.andante.com/article/article.cfm?id=25158 (8 February 2005) Distinguished Heir to a Great Tradition – Conductor Christoph von Dohnányi : The Cleveland Orchestra knew it was continuing a cherished tradition in 1984 when it hired Dohnányi as its musical chief. (…) Dohnányi admits he is a demanding musical leader who expects as much dedication and meticulous attention to detail from his players as he expects from himself. Dohnányi canceled… (…) Dohnányi’s uncompromising toughness stems partly from his harrowing experiences as an adolescent growing up during the Second World War II. (…) But music is one of many subjects that fascinate the widely cultured Dohnányi, including film, politics, current events, languages and psychiatry. (…) “I consider myself a very faithful man – faithful to music,” Dohnányi reports, with a rueful smile. “Barbara accepts this. She comes from a family of Viennese musicians. Her uncle and grandfather played in the Vienna Philharmonic. She is filled with music, so she understands (me) maybe more than (my other wives) did…

http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?query=cleveland+orchestra&date_select=full&srchst=nyt

JIWON: Waste of time. And weird… compared to this one:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/16/arts/music/16ratt.html?ref=music Simon Rattle’s Berliners Bring Thomas Adès and More Written by the President of Thomas Ades Fan-Club.

JIWON:

Anja Silja and Christoph von Dohnányi. I know I should read her autobiography first before I want to add my opinion to others’ about her private life, especially when it stood for her music. So, I need to be very careful and may have to change details of my writing some time later.

I just know the line from Wieland Wagner’s to André Cluytens is not quite similar the one from André Cluytens to Christoph von Dohnányi. Anja Silja and Christoph von Dohnányi… Considering their words in public places, both could be right or both could be wrong. I’m suspecting if neither part knows why. On the assumption that both had imaginative ears as most old-fashioned musicians did, the concept or ultimate goal of their music might have been same, but they belong to different time and space, and different tradition of the orchestra. I also suspect if they didn’t try to study about each other.

I realized it while watching her ‘young’ performance. It was a kind of (academically) fresh air, because her present singing and these and those official writings about her life, along with her present singing, made me think that she was a whore, just like Elena Bashkirova-Kremer-Barenboim. Still, AJ is not the figure of Callas, the combination of whose talent, personality, and her working style was far above men’s ability during her prime time. So am I, and then, her life style is still not my favorite. For me, legally unavailable guy means unavailable passion, no matter what. Because platonic love ultimately means bullshit, at least for me, and I don’t want to become an outsider or a victim of male chauvinism.

Elena Bashkirova playing Schumann with Christoph von Dohnányi?

It will be very interesting, because by the time I gave up my American study and prepared to return to this country, I heard his orchestra. It was… brrr… and why do you think so? It was not like the Philadelphia’s failing at that time. As usual, this Jewish whore will boast her Dohnányi resume after this concert and the old guy will be generous. Then, maestro Dohnányi will answer my request to analyze his ensemble with Bashkriova, and I will analyze his official statements, and anyone who is interested in Barenboim or Bashkirova will read it. As usual, Zubin Mehta is behind this business, isn’t he? 

I wonder if I am forced to listen to performances by Cleveland Orchestra from 2005 April to 2007 May. I’m not sure because this orchestra has nothing to do with Barenboim’s future. Will the orchestra members and management officers ever be interested in Barenboim’s directorship? I don’t think so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_Orchestra The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the major symphony orchestras in the United States. Of the “Big Five” orchestras of America, it is considered to be the most European. It is often considered one of the finest orchestras in the world. (February 2005) The New Yorker proclaimed the orchestra “the finest in America”, though it questioned The Cleveland Orchestra’s ability to survive the next century. (…)

JIWON: The Cleveland Orchestra from from 2005 to 2007. Something is better than the Szell era while something is not quite as good as Szell’s instrument. They say conductors did a fine job to preserve their golden tradition. Well, maybe… Studying each member’s resume will give you a clue. I thought the orchestra X has the best member in this part, though supported by couple of others. I must say. This Cleveland style didn’t work in professional orchestras in this country and why do you think so? This is perhaps the same reason why the New York critics made such a problematic reaction to their performance. In Chicago, by the time the seed of this style sprouted to start as a so-called tradition, the music director gave an order of using wrong fertilizers. It died. This was exactly how I lost my interest in Barenboim’s young CSO, where no supporting power functioning as antidote exists. Am I criticizing too much? Am I insulting them?

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/magazine/daily/14423437.htm Or

http://www.bh2000.net/bbs/musicnews/hisdetail.php?id=2606 The music institute’s prestige has grown under retiring director Gary Graffman. : The technical level of incoming students is obscenely high. It’s scary in some cases, so 90 percent of the time is not spent on solving technical problems. They’re way ahead. Many of them learn pieces so much faster than we did. When I was at Curtis, there were Leon Fleisher, Eugene Istomin and me. We were very talented, too, but some of the students now can learn in two weeks what we were spending two months on. (…) The caliber of students … Cole said 15 years ago that the kids now who come in are on a higher level than the one who used to graduate.

JIWON:

This is part of interview with Prof. Graffman and he is not the only one. Forumites have been questioning about this, too. Why does their American ensemble sound below their expectation while the fact is that individual musicians actually prove their techniques far more superior than the musicians in old days did?

There was a vast improvement in American music scene. True that couple of things evolved, but in a strange way. Then the official statement had already come from the Boston Symphony Orchestra member. It was years ago and I don’t think anyone listened to him. Frankly, I wanted to go to Boston when members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra rejected Barenboim as their maestro. But then, Mr. You-Know-Who got this job and this tradition now seems to fade away. I can tell this, because I followed all the articles about their performances and the New York critics were particularly encouraging this happening. Sometimes, I am thinking. Who do the critics write for when they criticize orchestra performance? Readers or audience or conductor or performers?

As a matter of fact, I loved the Art of Criticism, not only because it was the only and the most effective way for me to survive in this Barenboim-battle, but because it could exist for the future. But another fact has been that the more I criticized performers, the more they regarded my criticism as an insult. They wanted to support Barenboim’s Angels after reading me. Then, all of them proved their endless failing and I was able to insult them. This time, I wanted to insult them. It was unbelievable.

Hence, I had to think again. Why? Then, I wanted to find a good way to explain this happening. This is what I found months ago.

http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2007/08/24/2007082400536.html (August 24, 2007) Peter Senge… What Went Wrong at Enron? (…) Individual IQ 130 bla-bla-bal, group’s IQ 60 bla-bla-bla…

JIWON: Since I couldn’t translate it, I started my research. The more time I spent with the keyword, ‘Senge and IQ,’ the more terrific information came to me. Reading this article also gave me a clue how to explain the reason of American orchestra’s failing.

http://www.geocities.com/serafintalisayon/ReflectiveEmployee.html Reflective Employee: Team learning requires that each member makes explicit his assumptions and inferences. The ability to surface mental models is an important skill in the art of building group knowledge. Have you met a team whose members’ individual IQs exceed 130 but whose group IQ is below 70? Peter Senge offers an insight: “If we cannot express our assumptions explicitly in ways that others can understand and build upon, there can be no larger process of testing those assumptions and building public [read: group] knowledge.” Team learning involves the art of inquiring and deciding together. It is learning to think together – the best prelude to acting together. It means making public what goes in one’s mind when one thinks and decides privately.

http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-22-5034784.html Team learning: More than group thinking: Senge defines a good systems thinker in an organizational setting as “…someone who can see four levels operating simultaneously: events, patterns of behavior, systems, and mental models.” One of the key elements of team learning is a willingness to deeply explore a problem. We can develop this skill individually using personal mastery, but something unique happens when we bring our willingness to explore a problem into a group situation. According to Senge, a group’s collective IQ is much higher than the IQ in an individual if the group can coalesce and begin to use each other as a springboard for understanding and resolving the problem at hand. We’ve all been in meetings where everyone is engaged and excited, and the ideas just seem to build seamlessly on one another. When this happens, the solution the group has developed is above and beyond the work that any team member could have done individually.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Senge Peter Michael Senge (born 1947) is an American scientist and director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is known as author of the book The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization from 1990.

http://www.managementhelp.org/systems/systems.htm Five Disciplines of Systems Thinking : In addition to the discipline of systems thinking, Senge suggests the following four disciplines, as well.

1. Personal Mastery : Senge describes personal mastery as “continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively” (The Fifth Discipline, Doubleday, 1990, p. 7).

2. Mental Models : Senge explains “Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action” (p. 8).

3. Building Shared Vision : Senge notes “If any one idea about leadership has inspired organizations for thousands of years, it’s the capacity to hold a shared picture of the future we seek to create” (p. 9).

4. Team Learning: Senge asks “How can a team of committed managers with individual IQs above 120 have a collective IQ of 63?” (p. 9). He adds “Team learning is vital because teams, not individuals, are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations” (p. 10).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fifth_Discipline

5) Systems thinking– The Fifth Discipline that integrates the other 4

JIWON: My favorite music? My favorite orchestra? My favorite country? It’s been years since folks considered me as a nutty wacko, and I am tired now. So I’m borrowing others’ statements if you ask my opinion. Funny that I am not the first one to believe in these thoughts. I feel sorry for my poor English, which doesn’t allow me to translate into what should catch your attention. Hence, I tried to find other articles, which are similar to what I read.

http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2007/03/08/2007030800924.html (March 8, 2007) Google… 70%… 20%… 10%… Schmidt himself didn’t know why he had to spend his time, but Sergey Brin wrote it on board…

http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2007/11/09/2007110900755.html (November 9, 2007) Peer Review…

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2005/12/01/8364616/index.htm The 70 Percent Solution. Google CEO Eric Schmidt gives us his golden rules for managing innovation. : (…) One rule was handed to him by Brin and Page when he walked in the door: Don’t be evil. The other one is a formula he uses to stay on track while innovating: Spend 70 percent of your time on the core business, 20 percent on related projects, and 10 percent on unrelated new businesses. (…) But as you’ve grown, outsiders apply their own view of what is evil and use it to point out your company’s flaws. There’s nothing wrong with that. We believe in that sort of criticism. But the way “Don’t be evil” works is no different from pulling the rip cord on the Japanese assembly line. (…)

JIWON: The moment I found information about Google’s 70/20/10 rule, I couldn’t believe my eyes, but it didn’t surprise me because I thought about this rule for more than ten years. An ensemble member should use 70% of his ear to concentrate on his own performance, 20% of his ear to listen to his partners with a willingness to follow better sound around him, and 10% of his ear for his imagination. What amazes me is that this rule was made in the business world. It is said that Sergey Brin brought up the math formula to explain the reason of his rule so that Eric Schumidt had no choice but to agree that this is in fact the most effective way to spend their time. Unbelievable…

http://eprints.rclis.org/archive/00006004/ Peer Review in the Google Age: Is technology changing the way science is done and evaluated?

JIWON: This is not exactly what I wanted to find from the Google internet. Though it was written on another subject with the same keyword, Peer Review, it was worth reading. Anyway, Peer Review inside the Google Company was what I wanted to read about. The article said that feedback could be cruel and it hurt feelings of co-workers, but it was better than backbiting colleagues behind the scene. I think. Though it is a terrific idea, it’s not possible in musicians’ society, where the leaders could abuse this system. The basic requirement to join the orchestra is obedience or sycophancy. No one can blame my judgment because I hardly saw the second parts of wind and brass section have a right to lead their wrong principals, whenever their leaders were out of track. Beside, look what had happened in Zuckerman’s Canadian ensemble. It may be possible in the Google Company, where all the participants must pass a certain qualification. My jealousy starts here. And it was answered by more interesting comment.

http://eprints.rclis.org/archive/00006004/ To me this seems to be going back to some very old ideas. When the Royal Society made their archive freely accessible through the web a couple weeks ago (unfortunately only for 2 months – it was fascinating to read). The very first issues of the Philosophical Transactions journal with articles by Newton, etc. were made available. What did intrigue me was that the journal at that time (1665ff) was only partly made up by original articles. A large portion consisted of letters, reviews, discussions of the discoveries of collegues. This was about work in progress, offering ideas and commenting on them etc. It was like reading a 340 years old blog – just in paper form. So is today’s blogging just a return to some good scientific ideas? It might be only a little faster and reaching a larger (global) audience.

JIWON: My favorite music… My favorite country…

http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/2006-05-13-voa1.cfm   (May 13, 2006) She said: “Industry is alive. The beauty of industry lies in its truth and simpleness. Every line has a purpose, and so is beautiful. Whatever art will come out of this industrial age will come from the subjects of industry themselves…which are close to the heart of the people.”

JIWON: Will classical music survive in the end?

http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2007/06/07/2007060701135.html (June 7, 2007) Bang & Olufsen… the President and CEO, Mr. Torben Ballegaard Sorenson… “I don’t think people would want to return to their home and relax themselves by listening to music with the earphones still in their ears. More and more, they would want quality of life…”

JIWON: As I said before, I am not quite interested in Audio Equipment for manias. I welcome any kind that allows me to analyze what I hear, and I hate some expensive stuff, which betrays natural sound and my imagination. The readers’ comments really hit home, by the way, when they compare it to others, such as Mark Levinson, McIntosh, Telewatt, Kharma, Goldmund, Bose, Elac, JBL, ATC, KEF, B&W, Nakamichi, etc. It was however their idea and working style that hooked me. So, I am searching for more information to show you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bang_&_Olufsen Their work with radios and loudspeakers led them to devise a principle: Their products should be capable of high fidelity musical reproduction. (’Ærlig musikgengivelse’ in Danish, translated ‘honest music reproduction). They held as an ideal that the music you experienced through their sets and speakers should reach your ears uninfluenced by the limitations of technology. (…)

http://www.ytlcommunity.com.my/starhillgallery/shownews.asp?newsid=25966 (November 6, 2006) YOU’VE heard of luxury cars, clothes, watches and other accessories, but is there a luxury brand when it comes to consumer electronic products? The answer is yes, (…) The high cost of its products means that you can’t be replacing them after a couple of years nor does B&O want you to. B&O makes its products to last for years and likewise, its products have a very long shelf life. (…) “The focus of B&O has always been the home and where our customers feel at home,” said Sorenson.  

http://www.thisdayonline.com/archive/2002/09/08/20020908spe01.html (November 16, 2004) The artist creates things while the company has never set a panel over design. The purity of B&O products therefore derives from this respect for the professional (…) They are simply enthralling but they also cost money. Big money. There can be no doubt that B &O churn out the most expensive in terms of electronics and they do not pretend about that. (…)

http://www.thisdayonline.com/archive/2002/09/08/20020908spe01.html (November 16, 2004) Mr. Sorenson agreed that B&O is a small company that strives to be the best in the area of audio visual hence they are never in a hurry to release new products. Their target he said is the upper-end, the 2 to 3 percent end user, but he is uncomfortable with my argument that they are for the rich. He said they are more concerned with the substance of their product than the feeling of class even when he agreed with me that B&O is being associated with class and status. He said the aim is to task the imagination by combining unrivaled technology with ingenuity and emotions. He said the company is much more than design and magic because what they want to do is to combine the best of design with the best of technology. He said they are not targeting too large a market, that all they want to do is to meet specific need of the highest of the highest in the market and to that extent I think they have succeeded. But the elitist nature of the B&O is not just in product but also, perhaps even much more, in marketing. (…)

http://www.thisdayonline.com/archive/2002/09/08/20020908spe01.html (November 16, 2004) “Each of the new products we create must contain a part of the future. We must strive at all times to venture beyond the traditional because B&O practises a balance between form and function.” One thing you cannot take from the company is the fact that the future is very much rooted in the past in which case the founding fathers never compromised on quality and being the best no matter what and how long it took. This was the dream of Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen and the dream has not died. (…) The vision remains, “courage to constantly question the ordinary in search of surprising long lasting experience”

JIWON: What if Bang & Olufsen fails to satisfy their customers in the end? Curiously enough, not the price only but the quality in general was what the readers pointed out while comparing it with other products. What if the quality of future orchestras doesn’t deserve the present ticket price? Sooner or later, concert goers would come up with the most effective way to enjoy their time. Who will be the last American student at American music school? In the end, American music school couldn’t survive with foreigners only.

http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/2006-05-05-voa1.cfm   (May 5, 2006) Experts say Galbraith and Jacobs led many to question not only how and where they want to live and work. It also led them to wonder what kind of society they wanted to leave for their children.

JIWON:

Everybody knows that I’m not allowed to read VOA-news since… Why am I searching for my favorite orchestra? Who will help me to find my favorite mouthpiece? Not only had I read the words from a member of Boston SO, I also ‘heard’ a member of St. Louis SO be old enough to demonstrate his life-long experience on the same issue. He knew what he was doing and why, yet the audience, mainly consisting of young students, seemed to mock his performance. The reaction was cold. The member of San Francisco SO wanted to know more about it but didn’t know how. I still believe that the members from American orchestras should gather together to exchange their opinion about their present situation and to lead their youngsters into the better future.

What I wanted to hear from Barenboim’s American instruments is Bruckner. Here is my simple reason. When I was in America, I didn’t know how attractive American country music was. Now from this music, I hear a feeling of peace at the bottom of their heart. Who can play Bruckner better? I promise you will never make it. I promise Barenboim will never make it.

http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2007/08/31/2007083100713.html (August 31, 2007) Peter Schwartz… Scenario Planning

http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2007/08/31/2007083100714.html (August 31, 2007) Seven Scenario Planning Steps

JIWON: While I was getting sick of Barenboim’s directorship, this was what was waiting for me. I’m wondering. Who in the world of orchestra management is interested in this keyword, Scenario Planning? If not, this is what dumb critics should always bear in their mind while working for “The Art of Criticism.” When did they do this? As usual, I couldn’t translate this article. So I had to search for more information.

http://www.gbn.com/PersonBioDisplayServlet.srv?pi=23910 Peter Schwartz is cofounder and chairman of Global Business Network, a Monitor Group company, and a partner of the Monitor Group, a family of professional services firms devoted to enhancing client competitiveness. An internationally renowned futurist and business strategist, Peter specializes in scenario planning, working with corporations, governments, and institutions to create alternative perspectives of the future and develop robust strategies for a changing and uncertain world. His current research and scenario work encompasses energy resources and the environment, technology, telecommunications, media and entertainment, aerospace, and national security…

http://www.gbn.com/ArticleDisplayServlet.srv?aid=34550 Plotting Your Scenarios: Scenarios are narratives of alternative environments in which today’s decisions may be played out. They are not predictions. Nor are they strategies. Instead they are more like hypotheses of different futures specifically designed to highlight the risks and opportunities involved in specific strategic issues. To be an effective planning tool, scenarios should be written in the form of absorbing, convincing stories that describe a broad range of alternative futures relevant to an organization’s success. Thoughtfully constructed, believable plots help managers to become deeply involved in the scenarios and perhaps gain new understanding of how their organization can manage change as a result of this experience. The more involved managers get with scenarios, the more likely it becomes that they will recognize their important but less obvious implications. Moreover, scenarios with engrossing plots can be swiftly communicated throughout the organization and will be more easily remembered by decision-makers at all levels of management.

http://www.infinitefutures.com/tools/sbschwartz.shtml SCENARIO BUILDING: Maximizing Focus

STEP ONE. Identify Focal Issue or Decision

STEP TWO. Key Factors in the Local Environment

STEP THREE. Identify Driving Forces

STEP FOUR. Rank Driving Forces by Importance and Uncertainty

STEP FIVE. Selecting Scenario Logics

STEP SIX. Fleshing out the Scenarios

STEP SEVEN. Implications

STEP EIGHT. Selection of Leading Indicators and Signposts

http://www.gbn.com/PersonBioMoreDisplayServlet.srv?pi=23910

http://www.gbn.com/ArticleDisplayServlet.srv?aid=34550

http://www.gbn.com/GBNDocumentDisplayServlet.srv?aid=34550&url=%2FUploadDocumentDisplayServlet.srv%3Fid%3D35520 More By Peter Schwartz > An Introduction to the Art and Process of Scenario Planning > Plotting Your Scenarios 

(p.9)

II. Fleshing Out the Scenario Plots

Several tools are available for fleshing out scenarios. Systems thinking is good for deepening the scenario plots; narrative development is good for lengthening the basic premises into stories with beginnings, middles, and ends; characters are good for populating the scenarios with significant or illustrative individuals who personalize the plots. (…) In helping the scenario team to think more systematically, we often use the metaphor of the iceberg, adapted from Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline.

(pp.15-19)

III. Ten Tips for Successful Scenarios

1. Stay Focused. Your scenarios should be developed within the context of the focal question.

2. Keep It Simple. Simple plots and a short list of characters help managers to understand, use, and communicate the scenarios.

3. Keep It Interactive. Scenario plots should be the unique product of your organization’s interactive team-based effort.

4. Plan to Plan and Allow Enough Time.

5. Don’t Settle for a Simple High, Medium, and Low. The team’s goal should be to develop a few scenarios that are all plausible.

6. Avoid Probabilities or “Most Likely” Plots. Keep your mind open to all possibilities.

7. Avoid Drafting Too Many Scenarios.

8. Invent Catchy Names for the Scenarios. When your managers feel the hot breath of crisis they should be able to recall the appropriate scenario by name.

9. Make the Decision Makers Own the Scenarios. No matter which participant drafts the scenarios, he or she must thoughtfully and fairly solicit and welcome comments and suggestions from the rest of the team.

10. Budget Sufficient Resources for Communicating the Scenarios. Scenario planning will fail if its product is merely a handsome report, read once by only a few executives, and then allowed to gather dust on the shelf. Instead scenarios must become drivers of an organization’s ongoing strategic conversation and learning. Once the scenarios have been successfully tested on a small group, plans should be made to expose larger groups to the learning experience.

(p.19)

While several decades of experience have allowed us to come up with what might seem to be hard and fast rules or a tried and true technique, the fact is that scenario planning is more of an art than a science. While it should be fun, it can be very un-fun if the process breaks down into a muddle of unordered uncertainties. As one of our favorite clients likes to put it, “Don’t do this at home. Proceed only under adult supervision!” The various approaches, steps, and tips we have outlined should be enough to give you a clear idea of what is involved in scenario planning. But if the process is to be as fun and creative as it should be, you will also need skilled facilitators of the group process, talented writers, creative thinkers, and quite a lot of hard work.

http://www.gbn.com/SubjectDisplayServlet.srv?taxId=111 Scenario Thinking: “If you get your facts wrong, your map will be wrong. If you get the map wrong, you’re likely to do the wrong thing.” – Peter Schwartz

http://www.thesystemsthinker.com/contest/PDFs/1403pk.pdf  (April, 2003) The Inescapable Need to Change Our Organizations, An Interview with Peter Senge: I never expected The Fifth Discipline to have as much impact as it did. Partly, I attribute its success to a pervasive awareness of these sorts of problems. As the old adage goes, “There’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” No one knows what is needed, but we sense that we face immense learning challenges, which are not just individual but collective and which concern how our institutions shape our collective actions. (…)

JIWON:

Will classical music be extinct? While reading more stuffs regarding two Mr. Peters, I realized that their theory is nothing but a very basic in business world. Honestly speaking, I didn’t need those intelligent stuffs to have a vision of my favorite music, my favorite orchestra, and my favorite country. What used to lead me were two principles; Jacobs’ theory and my belief that there is no perfect body and therefore no perfect sound. Yet with these simple ideas, I was able to analyze and imagine everything from-past-through-present-to-future. I just needed all those headache aliens to prove that those who called me a nut are in fact nutty wackos, including Henry Fogel, who is now president of the American Symphony Orchestra League. I don’t understand why his Meier comments are no more found in these days, because I’m sure of his busier life to bring Meier’s fame into his American market.

I can give you something interesting, by the way:

http://www.gbn.com/ArticleDisplayServlet.srv?aid=34550 More By Peter Schwartz

http://www.gbn.com/ArticleDisplayServlet.srv?aid=30287 Scenarios for the Middle East

http://www.gbn.com/GBNDocumentDisplayServlet.srv?aid=30287&url=%2FUploadDocumentDisplayServlet.srv%3Fid%3D31127 The future of the Middle East

JIWON: Do you need more? Though a terrific work to find nutritious information, I am tired now. When I have my money and my legal right to enjoy my favorite music, it will be my time to read them and write more about what I heard from American students. Or it will be a complete waste of time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/arts/music/20tomm.html?ref=music  (May 20, 2007) Making the Maestro Collaborator in Chief

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/weekinreview/22wakin.html (July 22, 2007) Ideas & Trends, Now Waving Little Sticks, Littler Names

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/arts/music/index.html And so on…

My last word:

Barenboim’s VPO has the string section sound. Unlike the Divans, members of his Viennese band are sensitively reacting to it, and therefore, they sound below their average. God knows that I’m not talking about their technique. Since the members became so sincerely engaged on Barenboim issue, I was not sure of my ears. It sounded fine, yet didn’t awake me up, so I had to check my theory. If there is something wrong in my analysis due to my jealousy, I should have wanted to listen to it again and again with no sense of boredom. Ten times, at least, over and over again. Couple of time was enough.

A week later, I wanted to check others’ reaction. Unlike me, who listens to everything and frequently got confused about my own ears, not ensemble technique but the basic sound is what forumites usually follow as long as the performers make no mistake. There was nothing from the days of Barenboim. Someone deleted it, or no one was interested in Barenboim the conductor, or even Barenboim as a peacemaker. I don’t think my analysis lacks something important. According to my rule, this is X% : Y% : 0% of performance.

This has been Barenboim. Whenever the orchestra members follow Barenboim with no desire to lead their maestro at the same time, they are falling down. Barenboim’s BPO in old days is the best example. However in those days, there was a room for improvement because it sounded imaginative and forward. Then Waltraud Meier started to sing… speechless.

I now can fill my blog.

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