He won the Boston audition, but will he take the job?

boston audition

You remember the torture-chamber picture we ran last week? Boston Symphony were putting cellists through the hoops for a vacant seat.

The winner (we hear) is Oliver Aldort, 21, a Curtis grad.

oliver aldort

Great time to join a great orchestra.

Trouble is, Oliver has also just won a Pittsburgh audition. So which is it going to be?

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    • Since when have the personal decisions of rank-and-file orchestral job winners become the matter of public scrutiny? Gossip about famous conductors or singers is one thing, but this is getting out of hand. The Musical Chairs “inside scoop” chat page. Slipped Disc Google-image searches the kid after word gets out on Facebook. Another complete stranger responds by posting a youtube video of him when he was 10.
      How about this – if you know someone who won a job, congratulate him or her personally. If you don’t, STFU and mind your own business. The classical music biz is tough enough – do we really need to bring this world down to the level of TMZ?

      • Mr Anonymous joshg whatsoever:
        I am very grateful for your kind reply .
        I hope this is not too much of a disappointment for you but your well meant advice fell on deaf ears.
        The Video Link I posted highlights the simple fact that this cellist is also a remarkable pianistic talent, which I found very admirable ,and that’s all there is to it.
        End of discussion.

        • Michael,

          I intended for my comment to be a reply to the original post and the general culture of voyeurism and gossip of which it is a reflection, not a reply to your comment alone. This page needs an ‘edit’ feature.

          • Joshg, might I suggest that YOU STFU and chill the F out? There’s nothing tabloidesque or objectionable here. And these “rank and file” positions are extremely tough to come by. Kudos to Norman for letting the world know about another gifted kid straight outta Curtis. Boston is more fun but Pittsburgh is a great town as well! Bravo, Oliver!

        • Quite agree. To be an international level player on two instruments (assuming his piano playing has progressed to the same level as his cello playing) is pretty special. Not sure how common this phenomenon is. Rostropovich played the Rachmaninov 2nd Concerto when he was 18 and often accompanied his wife. Heifetz was a good pianist. Arthur Grumiaux recorded both parts of the Brahms sonatas. Heard an interview once when Ruggiero Ricci was talking about the time when one of his teachers played the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and the Brahms D minor at Carnegie Hall on the same evening! Julia Fischer (violin/piano) is probably most well known dual instrumentalist before the public today.

          • I will take a contrarian view here.

            Congratulations, certainly; but I would propose (if Oliver were to ask me) that he defer both positions and continue to study, perform, travel, and develop as an artist and as a person before he “settles down” and takes a major orchestra position which often (but not always) signals the end of true professional growth for a string player. Earning a six figure salary right out of school can cause some to become “fat and sassy” before their time.

            Let the slings and arrows fly…

  • I don’t think this is a “torture-chamber” but rather a blind audition, which is quite common these days, so that those needing to listen can do so purely on the basis of the music.

  • It’s a blind audition, so Norman calls it a “torture chamber”. And if it hadn’t been blind, Norman would have went on a rant about how discriminating American orchestras are. Seems he’s just out to carp.

    At least he doesn’t say anything about Boston being anti-women.

  • It only means he is technically
    proficient —at 21 if you have anything to say musically you would not take
    the job ,but if at 21 one only
    wants to be an orchestral player it tells
    us he knows his limitations,and that a
    supposedly safe harbour $ in an established orchestra is better than being out to sea competing with players that can match or surpass him
    If he can find a safe haven in Boston
    why would he go elsewhere,in the public eye Pittsburgh while a fine
    orchestra ain’t no Boston which ain’t what it used to be .

    • Wow, Milka, you’ve outdone yourself this time in terms of how full of shit you are. Plenty of musicians with “something to say” have started their careers as orchestral musicians. Lynn Harrell, Peter Wiley, Roberto Diaz, William Preucil, Joel Smirnoff, the list is endless. Id like to see you try and win a job in Pittsburgh or Boston!

  • “It only means he is technically proficient —at 21 if you have anything to say musically you would not take the job”
    That is not true for any age. There are so many “technically proficient” players for every one of such highly sought-after vacancies these days that the only way to outperform them is to also be musically interesting and convincing, in addition to being “technically proficient”. Well done, Oliver!

  • “It only means he is technically proficient —at 21 if you have anything to say musically you would not take the job”
    That is not true. There are so many “technically proficient” players for every one of these highly sought-after vacancies these days that the only way to outperform them is to also be musically interesting and convincing, in addition to being “technically proficient” of course. My congratulations to Oliver.

  • No, no, no.
    I’m sure he’s not just “technically proficient”. Boston is notorious for not hiring, and they chose this guy. He must be amazing.
    Competitions and riding off into the sunset aren’t what they used to be. If you know you’ll make 175k/yr, that is often preferrable to winning a competition for 25k, a couple years of concerts, and then uncertainty. I would take knowing I’m going to make 200k 10-20 years from now, possibly w a family and house, as an alternative to the solo/chamber dream.

  • No one can speak for Mr.Aldort …
    he makes whatever decision he thinks
    best …even the orchestra is his choice.
    Warrior is quite practical and in this day
    and age correct if the final aim is
    house, family .No one knows what
    Mr. Aldort’s thinks as to his music
    future ,we do know however
    that most violin sections are filled
    with “failed great soloists “who
    had or didn’t have what it takes to
    be the great star .It’s their consolation prize to be in a so called great orchestra .I suppose it must so for
    most string players .No string player
    starts life wanting to be in an orchestra,
    at least those with imagination .The trick is to be in whatever orchestra
    looking up at the guest string soloist
    of the evening without thinking “I could
    have been standing there .”

  • Like most generalizations, milka’s is simplistic and inaccurate. At best, it may be partially true for the small minority of the group it attempts to describe. It does not matter what we think at the beginning of our lives: for example, at preschool age many of us had extremely distorted ideas about the way children are created which did not prevent most of us from having children of our own when we became adults. When we learned to think realistically about our desires and goals which usually happens in late teenage years, most of us knew that what we really wanted in our musical lives was to join a fine professional orchestra. This is true for me as it is for the overwhelming majority of my colleagues in major American orchestras whom I know quite well. In any case, Oliver Aldort is the only one who can speak for himself, here and elsewhere.

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