The things musicians do to disguise disabilitymain
Heather O’Donnell has written a thoughtful and disturbing piece for Van magazine on the strategies that musicians employ to mask a physical or mental disability – and how the subterfuge impacts on their fellow-musicians.
A violinist who plays with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where Levine was music director from 2004 until 2011, described the stress of working under Levine to me as “absolute fucking hell.” The orchestra members endured years of uncertainty in which the illness was treated by Levine and those close to him with denial and painfully inadequate attempts at compensation (for example, Levine began speaking more and more at rehearsals to conceal his inability to physically model the intended musical gesture). The musicians felt powerless to exert any influence on the situation.
Read on here.