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In a sight-based culture everything auditory is fragile in the extreme. Once upon a time there was a well-known musician in New York who compiled (or threatened to compile) musicians’ memories of specific performances they had heard and never forgotten. Don’t we all have moments like that? De los Angelos singing that lullaby; Rubinstein beginning a Chopin Nocturne on an unbelievably resonant low D-flat; Horszowski deliberately playing a Mozart movement too fast in order to wake up the ensemble with whom he was performing (talk about guts!).

No one can take those moments away from us. We as musicians have a challenge to make them happen for others. Why not? Just because we are supposed to play perfectly every time? No excuse.

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