Monday, August 22, 2005

a day in the life of bassist Ben Levy

Today a friend forwarded me an article about Ben Levy, a bass player classmate of mine at New England Conservatory and currently a member of the Boston Symphony. The article, "Bass of operations", follows Ben around a day of rehearsals at Tanglewood.

Strangely, I had just been practicing an excerpt book which Ben had borrowed and which still has some of his markings - most mysteriously the phrase "* passive vibrato", which is written repeatedly. I'll have to ask him about that some day. The article makes a big deal out of how wildly successful Ben has been and how much money he is earning, but he seems to have stayed modest and grounded, with the same self-deprecating sense of humor I remember. Ben used to love to enter a conversation on a bizarre tangent, wander off into an even stranger subject, and then end abruptly by announcing his "no pointer". When it came to his playing, though, Ben always seemed to cause people to sit up and listen, and he played with such energy and focus that it was impossible to not get enthused as well.

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