Speaker Her music. My grandfather was a musician. My father was a musician. Music was like breathing. Like eating. In other words. And in one sense, it wasn't special. Wasn't special because I did that. I did solfeggio with my grandfather. I practiced the piano. My father was a pianist. I was a wiseguy in high school, meaning that at 14 years old, I was working with the piano in a saloon making money. And when it came time to being a senior in high school, maybe around 16 years old. My father says, what are your intentions for the fall? And I says, Well, I think I'm going into the fountain blue. I was living in Miami at the time. He if those are your intentions in music, then you might as well move out of the house and and continue with your life. In other words, he's shocked me into thinking maybe I should really pursue music for its sake or for more knowledge about it. And proceeded to get a Bassoons scholarship to Louisiana State University Bassoons scholarship, because as most scholarship people know, that if you play the piano or the violin, there will be someone that's 13 years old who plays better than you do and you won't have a chance. But the high school teacher said if you played a double reed instrument, you could get a scholarship. So I studied the bassoon and practiced like a mad man and went to Louisiana State University for four years and his bassoon scholarship. However, this bassoon placed me in the center of the orchestra. Now, knowing that I've always led a double life in other was at night, I am in some part of town that that good girls don't go to playing by my silly saloon music. And during the day, I am seriously studying music but playing the bassoon in the middle of the orchestra. This phenomenon of music really kind of caught those other kinds of music music that, oh my goodness, the orchestra. And I'd like to write a thing and who knows what would happen. But it did come together in the middle of a Louisiana State University experience to say that I must explore this music at the highest ends. And that led me to Juilliard because even not even but Juilliard in the 60s for me, when I was in school in Louisiana and 60, 61, 62 and 63, when one thought of where could you go to be at the best? Place for music in the country. Two things came to mind, two things, because in the back of my mind, I wanted to write dramatic music. I wanted to write operatic music. But in the baroque sense, I wanted to get paid. Can you write an opera anytime you want. But when you say, will someone pay me to write this over? Well, maybe not. You could do it for music sake. But I wanted to write like the baroque composers. You've got a wedding. Your daughter needs a mass. I'll write the mass. So films and television to me seems the most logical place for me to go. And USC University of Southern California had a program in film music even in the early 60s, and that was tantalizing, but there was this call. Rather than a choice. It was a response to a call of Juilliard. I say that because Juilliard had the name. I'm not a New Yorker. I was not born in New York. I was born in Providence, Rhode Island. I went to high school in Miami, Florida. And I already told you I went to Louisiana State University. So in all of these things, why had I always heard of Juilliard School of Music as one of the best conservatories in this country, if not the best? So I. I pursued that. I went to Juilliard. I requested an audition form or whatever the form is called, and went from Louisiana, Baton Rouge to New York to experience four or five days of testing or whatever it was at the time. Did that quite exciting. Met people standing in line at Juilliard. That I know today who are teachers at Juilliard. And was accepted, admitted into Juilliard. Left in 63. Louisiana State University. And went to Juilliard. I went to Juilliard to become a film composer. Which you couldn't tell anyone. Not that Julia would not accept it. But in the back of my mind, I didn't want to teach music. I didn't want to perform music. I wanted to learn how to write music because I felt that might be necessary. Little did I know that it wasn't necessary at all. But I did when I went to Juilliard. Which should have been in the master's program, which had no meaning to me because I realized at this time that none of the degrees were going to mean anything to a man with a cigar who had just finished making a movie. As to whether I would be the composer of that movie or not. But Juilliard was Mecca for me in the sense that the greatest teachers that I had heard of were at Juilliard. So I went there actually to learn something. I spent four years at Juilliard. From 63 to 67. By the fact that I spent so much time, they gave me another bachelor's degree by default. Why? I had taken the classes that were equivalent to and because I was in no hurry to leave. I was only in a hurry to kind of sponge up what I had to know, what I thought I had to know about writing for films and television. And I left in sixty seven. The first two years I was not married. I went in 63 and I had left my sweetheart to finish her education in Louisiana. I was married in sixty five and then was married for sixty five and sixty to sixty seven. And then there's a further story of how I ended up in Rome, Italy, because you go vice call, who was a composing teacher composing a composition teacher at Juilliard, and he became the composer in residence at the American Academy in Rome. And off handedly, he said offhandedly, why don't you go visit your roots, come see me in the summer. I'm going to Rome. Now, prior to that, I was not an idea that was in my head to go to Rome. But you've a voice call was a along with Vincent Percy Kerry along with Janine. Why do you have all these Italians meant so much to me that we're Juilliard. Oh, I don't know what I did follow Hugo Vice call to to Rome, in spite of the fact that my father had just died a very traumatic time in my life. And I went to Rome and didn't come back in the sense that Hugo spent the summer.

Speaker Returned and I returned in 74.

Speaker Well, now I'm going to go all the way back to the beginning of that story to talk about.

Speaker I think it's really interesting that Giuliani, who had had this, you know, and tell me what you knew about this sort of grand tradition of music there. It occurred to you or you thought that it would be a good place to keep going. Knowing that you know where you're going, you wanted to do.

Speaker I mean, what was the state what was the conservatory mystique of Juilliard at that?

Speaker I can only say that it was in the common, not the common language of the vernacular. But Juilliard was synonymous with the best conservatory in the country. There were other conservatories, but for some reason, the people that I were in was in contact with either to teachers or family who were musicians. Juilliard seemed to be the only place considering. Now, if you were in education, I must admit that that there were other teaching schools that one could consider. But for someone who wanted to be a professional musician in the performing sense. IT instrumentalist, and in my case, composer. It was the most professional school that I had ever heard of. And I can't tell you why, but it just seemed to be common knowledge that Juilliard was the place to go to.

Speaker And tell me about this. There's this audition process you're going down right now.

Speaker First of all, I left my bassoon the day I graduated. It was a scholarship. The bassoon was a scholarship for me. A noble instrument, but it burns quicker than an accordion. When I went to Juilliard, I had to pick a major and at Louisiana State. I was piano and composition. When you went to Julia, they said, pick one because you probably won't survive in two. I mean, not literally those words, but you must pick a major. So I picked composition as my major. So I came there with my little satchel of of composed works from my undergraduate degree.

Speaker And I stood in line with other sorry composers who were I say sorry because we were we're going to Mecca and we're bowing and trying to get in and we're bringing our little sacrifices, hoping that we might be allowed in.

Speaker And we were tested in air training and we were tested in our knowledge of musical history and musical theory. And we were interviewed and we probably all thought we failed. But some of us ended up getting accepted. I can remember Michael Czajkowski, who is a poser and and a teacher on the faculty at Juilliard at this time. I met him in line and and he we came from, I think, Madison, Wisconsin, University, Wisconsin, something like that. And I had come from Louisiana and we struck up a conversation and just knew that we weren't gonna get in because I had my collected works would fit in here in an envelope total everything I ever wrote. And there were people in line with suitcases. We wanted to kill those people. We thought, how could you write so much music? And, you know, we're. I must have been 21 at the time. If I got married at twenty three, they have suitcases and I have this paltry little thing that that was my senior project in college and it was without a doubt dreadful, as probably as dreadful as everything in the suitcases. But we were quite amazed that we did actually get in. And it was at the Claremont Avenue. It wasn't spiffy. It was just this wonderful building on Claremont Avenue, of course, from Grant's Tomb, where it looked old and it looked funky and it looked like the way a real conservatory music school should look like. And we were thrilled.

Speaker Yeah, old and looking like. What do you mean?

Speaker Well, I imagined the buildings still survives 140 or 120 clammer. I don't know.

Speaker It's actually I haven't been up there yet. I should go see it or I can't.

Speaker I guess I can't really describe it in the kind of detail that that would really let you know what it is. However, it's not new and spiffy, new and spiffy. It's kind of all bricks and whitewashed and clean. And this was just like an old funky building that had character that I thought was a wonderful place to walk into because it said The Juilliard School of Music.

Speaker Do you remember the look of it in that day in terms of how you dress when you suddenly walking from the greedy streets of the 60s? You know, a little tired.

Speaker Well, coming from Louisiana, as I did to New York, people in New York dressed more than they did in Louisiana. At the school that I attended, they actually went to school, I believe, in Levi's even in those days. And the people in New York did dress more like silly people dressed, which is better, of course. And I remember the coffee shop because the coffee shop. Believe it or not, the cafeteria, whatever was called in the basement was a meeting place where even during the registration of the pre auditioning stage, you could sit down and have a cup of coffee and say, isn't that some 460 at the next table? Or Roger Sessions or all the people that were there? And yes, they were there. They were just drinking a cup of coffee. I didn't know until later, after being admitted to the school and moving there that you just simply said, Mr. Persecutor, do you mind if I sit down?

Speaker And he would say, yeah, what do you work in?

Speaker Come have a coffee and you can actually pass ours with these mentors, with these incredible teachers. Because Julia to me were the people that I had a chance to meet, incredible teachers in my academic life. They were wonderful. And if anything describes it for me, the character of that place, I would have to talk about. If you told your Janine and Hugo Rice, call a Madam Large, a Jacob Jack Druckman and people that really touched me, at least musically, if not on an emotional level.

Speaker Tell me a little bit about these people. We have a longstanding relationship.

Speaker Oh, no. Well, the first day of class, I mean, the first class I had was with Jeannie Vitara, Jeannie. And it was in a room, a closed room. Like all rooms are closed, of course. But he used to smoke the cigar and he would like this cigar at eight o'clock in the morning. Now, in my life as a double agent, I was always working at night. So I was in midtown Manhattan at some saloon until three o'clock in the morning. But my first class was at 8:00 with Mr. Giannini. And I lived next door to Juilliard because I could fall out of bed and collapse into a classroom rather than take a subway. I can remember him lighting that cigar in the morning and I'd been in a saloon all night and him saying the very first day and next week we will have a piano sonata, the beginning of a choral fugue and two movements, every string quartet, keeping in mind that my entire senior year at a university, I had written a trumpet concerto. And he wants this for next week. And I'm working seven nights a week. And of course, next week I showed up with all that stuff that he asked for, as everyone else in the class did. And he said he said, Conti, I need to go up there with this paper. I had my concerto made. All the things I said, the string quartet, everything that I had been writing. And I've been doing it in the kitchens, you know, of saloons. And every minute if I'd be writing and writing and Socrates. Now, he took it like this and he went a flip through it, like it flipped through a phonebook, you know, he'd look it through it. And then it was a big wastebasket next to me. Went like this, took the next one. We flipped it like every once in a while. You stuck on a patient go, huh? Why do you do that now? You didn't remember your name at that either at that hour or that piece of music that you've written so much music, but you'd make some explanation.

Speaker You take it and you go and you throw it into the wastebasket. He threw everything I wrote and every one else had row written into the wastebasket. He says composers. It's as if you were really good. You wouldn't need us. You wouldn't be your students. You want to learn how to write. You must write. And we will write here. Meanwhile, you didn't even dare to ask what was in the trash. This was in the trash. It was not going into this.

Speaker I felt badly for the people that put their music in suitcases because they probably saved everybody drivel that they ever wrote in their entire life. And these suitcases. And she was just throwing it out. It was like, hello, Juilliard. This is what we're gonna do. We're going to teach you how to compose, because if you were a composer, you wouldn't be here. And it was Janina's worth. It was it was like a shock and wonderful in that I knew I was in the right place.

Speaker He played well eventually. Yeah.

Speaker Well, no, he doubted, you know, whether you were doing it.

Speaker His point was not that it is that his point, right or wrong, was that you had a right a lot to get to the point where you had a facility and writing a vocabulary of writing. Just the idea of writing it. If he thought that he was throwing away something that worthy of a Mozart genius, that he would go on like this and probably, you know, use that himself or give it back to the student. But he had no fear. I mean, we were doing exercises and he knew that. And then we knew that, too. So what did we do? Everything wasn't sacred at that minute, but we wrote because he wanted volume.

Speaker And what about what about these other wonderful teachers? I mean, that was what Hugo voice call.

Speaker Was it the exact opposite of Vitara Giannini? Because Giannini would go like this. He'd throw it away. And he sat with Weiskopf, who as a composer was a special, especially in the sense that every note. Was sacred. This is like a curse. Right. So that you would have to defend every note that you wrote. That was Giannini. He would throw it away. But with Hugo Vise Carr, he would say, what's the intention of that? You go, that's a flat. It's just like a flat. But no. What does it come from? Where's it going? What's it's in touch. Nothing mystical. I'm not talking about. Did you have on the orange robes and the incense when you wrote a flat. He meant musically music theory. Why? What generated this note. So from one extreme to the other. I mean, it was not maddening, but you knew after a while that you weren't going to do a lot of work for Hugo High School. But every note that you wrote, you would be able to talk about. Explain. And I imagine in an academic situation, you're supposed to do that. If if the freedom of of getting you to write is Janina's approach. And Vice Gore wanted to know every note, then maddening as it was, it was wonderful. It was just one and a man of great culture.

Speaker Do you manage to escape with the family jewels? I mean, like escaping from the border. A wonderful, wonderful man. A wonderful man. Would you mind? Night. Now you have an album filled with people who are academically, maybe a bit. Do you think it's possible for they could play football, baseball, whatever the reason why this outrage would outrage because play tackle football in the little park that broken. Oh, yes. Four, five. Well, I felt in that part of that, I play the music of the day and he'd say that Beatles tune, you know, that Beatles tune.

Speaker I know. I want to hold your hand. I agree. He's gone to the piano. Codi play me play me the first four guys if I want to hold him. This is know the first four bars. And you mentioned some classical piece. It goes like this. Done it for him. We'd be doing four handed things much to the astonishment of people who didn't think that Prince and Percy Kerry would even know what the Beatle was except a little insect.

Speaker So he had this kind of knowledge of it all.

Speaker He came to Rome once. He came and called me. He called me in Rome and said, What are you working on? I just just a movie. It's it's a movie. It's very vulgar. It's not. I'll bring it to the hotel. I want to see what you're working on. So he would look at music in a vast way and educated that he was he would just thrill you with his analysis of not only your work, but instead he he said to me, country, go to the library for next week, bring in all the music you can find on mom. Pooh. Yes, sir. Because the previous week, he says, bring me all the second movements that began in F Sharp Major. Now, his point was to realize how much music you have to look through just to find the second movement that began in F sharp major. And if you were any musician at all. You ended up taking home two or three scores just to peruse. Why? Because it looked interesting. It was a teaching method, which was like very bizarre. So I come back with the mom pwn. And if so, what do you think? Well, I'm trying to make excuses. It's a very I don't know. Sarti seem to be. She's not. He was a terrible composer. It wasn't very good at all. He just actually worked in cocktail lounges and thought he was like satti. I just wanted you to see what a bad composer was like. These little things every week would be a different little twist. So these three men were like so instrumental in opening up my head into the music that I needed to know.

Speaker It seems like it seems like there actually was far more, maybe non-traditional, it's like even now, I mean, everybody thinks, you know. Yeah. Oh, yeah. You're saying now then maybe back in the 30s. Who like this this conservatory ivory tower is being kicked in?

Speaker Well, there's an ivory tower in terms of the facade. But it but you see, I said earlier that that that facade is made up of people and those people are the ones that affect the other people that are coming to learn. And the kind of effect that they've had on me when they all knew that I wanted to do dramatic music. Hugo Weiskopf says, well, look, we'll take it three months at a time. We'll begin at the beginning for three months. You like Palestrina for three months. You're like. Right? Like Vivaldi. This wasn't a class. I did the opening of Rigoletto from the original libretto in the style of Verdi y because it was I felt it necessary to know the styles of music that wasn't a curricula, but he was preparing me to know styles. And every once in a while he says, you know, I have to enter you in a contest every once in a while because we have these contests. And he would submit something or says we must write something now for that. But but he he knew what I was after. And he he wrote off for himself and he pursued it with me.

Speaker Bet. That cool?

Speaker I think it would come into the school. So I would go to the school. I for. I thought to make a living working in film, Good Night Club. I bet you that. But I'm 14 years old at 28. I work seven weeks. When I arrived, I had a job. So I was working at night before or other places where their dad or dad or whatever it was. I knew about that. I. Well, I, I might I, I it will with me. I know that at the time that we're doing that, maybe not for dialogue that seven nights a week. I think the psychological state of my being. Look, I always kind of think they are kind. It's how I make my living. I feel like I ended up in Rome at 20 years old with two bachelor degree and probably all qualified for playing anymore and managed to shake it through.

Speaker Another remarkable man who challenged me. But all through Juilliard, it was there. I did the great music during the day and I did the other music at night. And I don't think that Juilliard. I was so happy that it was what it was and not trying to be many things to many people that it was a conservatory of serious music and not trying to say. But we teach jazz. What about baton twirling? Oh, we could get, you know. It did real serious music.

Speaker And this really serious music. I mean, do you feel that this, you know.

Speaker This is absolute immersion in the classics, as you say. I mean, that was just completely formed, your ability to go elsewhere.

Speaker It was my attempt. The I the idea of knowing the forms of music, what had preceded me in dramatic music preceded the 20th century in my knowing it was what I thought the basis of a film composer should be. And Juilliard inadvertently, I mean, they didn't know that they don't have a class in that. But it provided me as a composer with that kind of background, which I felt necessary. I didn't know it was not necessary, but it was necessary for me at the time.

Speaker Why do you say it's not?

Speaker It never was necessary. It's just that as the younger you are, the more naive you are, the more idealistic you are. So that when you finally get to Holland, you go, you mean Warhol is really a Motel six? You mean I didn't need to. Things change so that to do film, there are people I've had the pleasure of conducting the Academy Awards show for 15 years, and I've been conducting for winners that that some do not even know how to write music. Now, does one need to know how to write music to win an academy one? Of course not. Music must only be effective. So does that mean that if I hire someone to say, look, it kind of goes like this. Now make it like real music and they do that?

Speaker Well, that makes them valid in my business. It wouldn't make them valid at Juilliard. But in my business, if you can hum a pretty tune and if you can use music effectively, which is which is important because music must be effective in a dramatic situation. If it's ineffective.

Speaker The fact that you won't be working. So it's not a prerequisite for the job to know music in the business of film and television music. You must know how to use music effectively. But to be an idealist and to be someone who care about music. I felt the education that Juilliard gave me was the most important.

Speaker Describe a little bit. You're saying you got there.

Speaker You were having composition classes. You still but also doing the theory about what I mean.

Speaker They were pretty rigorous schedule. There was a schedule at Juilliard that that also required you to have electives, as all good schools require out of music.

Speaker By the way, in other words, I had to take Oriental literature. I didn't have to. But it was either that or, I don't know, sewing or some other thing. So we had an academic elective system that that would either be taught off the premises, in some cases, Columbia. They had the first electronics classes that were not held at the school. But someplace in the village with Morton Subotnick, where you traveled to that. So you had to maintain your average. You had to perform. There were there were pianists who couldn't practice the required six hours a day who were actually let go. Why? Because the teacher knew that they weren't practicing the required amount of time that it took to stay at Juilliard. And why maybe they had to have a job. Maybe they had to have a day job. Maybe they couldn't afford the tuition. Maybe there was no scholarship. So rigorous is what you want. And you want to be an elitist when you go to a place that claims to be elite. And they may not like the word, but I use it in the best sense of the word. You're not the best by by way having your standards lowered to the lowest common denominator. And if you can't maintain the standards, even as a Juilliard X alumni, kick them out. Bill going to watch me, I could be on the Johnny Carson show and I would say something very vulgar to him, of course, because of this running gag.

Speaker Yes, sir. But I don't think he graduated. You see, there's a difference between going and graduate. But. Oh, really, I it to tell me that. Well, you put the nail down because I don't. I don't trust him.

Speaker There was I think that he went into a high school student on the weekends. Right. Well, I mean, if UCLA had an adult night class in jujitsu and I went there, so I went to UCLA.

Speaker What does that mean? You learned what how to talk somebody for, you know.

Speaker So ask him, when did you graduate? Mr. Hanley's say if he dances well, I mean, you know, is it a matter of record? Either you went. You didn't go. Chick Corea went there. Shikari is the greatest jazz player, piano player. Then why did he graduate? I don't think so.

Speaker Why do you say that, you know, so many people left voluntarily or the professional world.

Speaker Really? Really. At that age? Yes. Oh, I was drawn to it. Yeah. The Rolling Stones are playing and the others and the radio. And I'm playing my guitar and I say I played with the Rolling Stones. You've got to do you've got to go. You've got to show up and you got to. You've got to pay their dues, but you have to actually go through the process to be called the Marine. Right. The guy. I'm a seal. Really well. Where were you who went to Vietnam? Who didn't. And if some guy went to a weekend down in SEAL Land and did calisthenics, I mean, that doesn't make you a seal. No, maybe he did. Maybe I'm wrong. I just don't trust him so much that you've got to ask him.

Speaker Now, in terms of I mean, do you feel it's like a Navy SEAL who says you really want people?

Speaker You know, it's like it's like you're so high. Like you went all the way through. You want to read it.

Speaker You know, I guess you're right. I guess you're right in the sense that I don't I don't think I really care if someone says I just paid two million dollars in taxes. But if he won't pick up the tab for lunch, you know, the implication is that I get so much money.

Speaker Two million dollars in taxes is nothing for me. I only had a ham sandwich once you pick up the ham sandwich. So if you say I went to Juilliard and and you you took Saturday classes, you went for six months, you go, wow, really? I think going there and doing what is intended by the Airness Fairness says, we offer a degree. We offer you a program of which you could be a laureate from. And you went for six months. What do you say? You certainly did go to Juilliard. It's like saying I went to New York, but I was at thirty seven thousand feet. I mean, we're London. It's not quite the same thing. And it has nothing to do with talent. By the way, talent wins out. If you have a talented and do what you do, well, then I'm with you.

Speaker Was it did you have a lot of contact with the other?

Speaker No, because Juilliard is a school of specialists. Now, this is terrible. But then again, so are doctors. So lawyers, so engineers. And so is your high school teacher that says, have you picked a major yet?

Speaker And people don't know. Right.

Speaker We're into specialization and I'm just as guilty of specialization in and as I said, music composition. Therefore, by the time you get to the highest form of specialization, meaning graduate work. Did I know in instrumentalists that Juilliard maybe. Are you going to ask me the name? I couldn't come up with a name. Maybe a name. But in four years I hung out with who composers. And the compact composition teachers.

Speaker Did I know a dancer? No. Did I know clarinetist? No. So when you asked the clarinetist. Do you know the composers? Yeah, they're a couple of composers.

Speaker They don't know the composers either, unless the composer is begging to get a performance off his clarinet concerto. Then he will know the clarinets. Or if the clarinetist needs a little vehicle to display his wares, that he might go to a composer and say, Have you written a clarinet concerto recently? So I can perform it at Riverside Church or whatever. He might have an appearance. So this specialization has put us all instrumentalists, composers, dancers, actors, at least when I was there. I knew no one there, maybe eight to 10 composition students that that I could probably remember five names, but I didn't know them. But no one else. And don't don't forget that every night from nine to three. I was leading the double agent life, so I didn't have much time on my hands. So I was in school sleeping through for hours, hours, working. So I didn't know a lot of people.

Speaker You even in your time in the 60s, you know.

Speaker You heard in my time in the sixth. Yes, I did. But I wasn't there for eight. Okay. Even in the olden days. Go ahead.

Speaker I know I know more about you know, you were there and there was Columbia riots. There was you know, there was all sorts of politics that, you know, people were. The war was going.

Speaker No, I'm not. I am a political I'm sure that there are other musicians who are political who actually care even about humanity, by the way. But don't include me.

Speaker I don't care.

Speaker Why did I say the humanity thing I can let along all along with the politics was I really don't care about.

Speaker So you did. You never you never got. You know, that was not your gig. You did not know where the wild times.

Speaker No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I was not involved with contemporary times then or now. I don't know why that's strange, but I just don't care. I mean, I don't I'm not a good conversationalist about contemporary pop culture subjects. I'm not interested in. I'm actually a monarchist. I do want a king. Currently reading Thomas Mann, everything he's ever read, written so I can talk about opera, but not politics or pop culture.

Speaker Tell me, were you aware of the voice, which, of course, was, you know, beginning to thrive? Yes. What was your sense? I didn't know.

Speaker I was aware I was aware of these things.

Speaker But I must tell you that it was a world of homo GeoNet. Jan.

Speaker Now, know we won't, we'll use another word.

Speaker It was just a world of individual specialists working around not to say that they weren't people that were political in the good sense of knowing everyone. I don't think we ever had a problem. We never had a reunion. We never had a school dance. You know, maybe they did. I just didn't know about it.

Speaker Is this something you may know your a friend. Was it of the origins of the conservatory?

Speaker Juilliard model was very, very drawn from, you know, this this European world. This world is sort of pedagogues. And the students were primarily American. I mean, did you have a sense of molding into this very European tradition?

Speaker I didn't have a sense of molding into a European tradition as such, because you've got to remember that as an American, the European tradition was normal to me. And what was happening outside my life was strange. You must believe that this little American with with Italian parents who felt very much the airflow American, the American culture was foreign and strange or at least different than the culture inside the house. I found absolutely nothing not only wrong with Julia. I actually liked it a lot in that sense, that there was a maestro, that there was a real teacher, that I could actually talk to him. That might have been the American thing that you could actually talk to him. She's wonderful. I mean, it was just wonderful.

Speaker Well, there were quite happy for me. How did your work. Did you have performances, recitals with your work brought to the play where people hearing it?

Speaker I don't think composition of composers in general historically have had students an opportunity to hear any work larger than a chamber orchestra or very small piece.

Speaker And probably for good reason, too. It probably isn't worth being heard.

Speaker But if you wrote something for large orchestra, who's going to play it? There is always some time allotted to the composition students to have their pieces performed by the school orchestra. And you heard it's it's not a concert. It's a rehearsal of if you did write your little clarinet concerto, you might get piano and clarinet that that seems to be available or piano and singer. But if you wrote a major work, a large work, it would be difficult today as it was then. We did hear it in rehearsal. And that's not a complaint. I think that's just fine, too. To be able to hear your work is very important. It's it's not done enough. It's never enough. But then again, there's so much to learn that as Jeanine would say, just go read another piece. You'll hear the next one.

Speaker And what about all this?

Speaker I mean, it was very much a time of. It's a shame.

Speaker Yeah, it was coming in. It was it wasn't coming, was it? How was it?

Speaker Well, unfortunately, this I don't want to make a large statement, but I have to that this century it except a little pockets of influence has not been musically rich. So that the avant garde ism of, let's say, the early avant. If you want to say 30 to 40, 40s, 20. So whenever you want to pick it to beginning was still unfortunately alive in academia because that's the last place that it's gonna die in academia. The people that would one time at Juilliard, we had a very famous composer who shall remain nameless, being woodenness, who locked us up in a room, and he had locked us up. There was a composition students we were in and in the basement room. It was summertime near summertime. He had to close every door, every window. And we listened for about an hour and a half, four players, a tape, four players scraping on on large cymbals using kitchen utensils.

Speaker Now, this man was serious. This man is taken as a serious composer. He had people with knives and forks scraping on a and a symbol and any other walk of life, any other frame of mind except academic in any other place in the world.

Speaker This man maybe not have been shot, but he would have been let out of the room in a straight jacket. This is not this is just the foot in Italians like Foley. It's it's a craziness that that you had to write music that no one had ever written before because we were in this age of it must be new.

Speaker It must be different. And unfortunately, people were out there turning on radios, setting up metronomes, going like this and calling it music. And we would address those things in school. We would we would we would seriously think about these things. Now, this is comic. When you think of the great minds, who and the people that have written great music also. And John John Cage and the relevancy and all the stuff that can be wrong with academia where common sense would go. What? This is silly. There there's no silly. Once it's been blessed so that our one God is one was blessed and yes, we had our share of it to. Had no meaning, but it was there.

Speaker Is there a part to that music that does have meanings as students or even now you're weeding out?

Speaker Well, as a reaction to, let's say, like Thomas Wolfe, you talked about 500 people in the world, little approval, a work of art and say this is good. This is trash.

Speaker Well, I think that that that the trend central nay transcendental nature of what it's supposed to be. If it's only less left to Scholastic's is is missing the whole point that then what James Joyce says about the condition of all that transcendence, I'm looking at a sunset and not having kinetic energy. But Stacy's going, oh, my God. The first time I ever saw the David or the Petare, it took my breath away. You couldn't say a word the first time I heard Beethoven, you. I was speechless. It was like transformed. It was like what it really is.

Speaker And when a guy sets a metronome going and turns to radio to static, I'm afraid for or doesn't reach me.

Speaker How can I answer your question about aesthetics when you want to ask me something that is not an aesthetic?

Speaker If you're asking me what has new music, if we're talking about the kind of music that at best we could call bizarre and strange and avant garde. And it's not the same thing as the Rite of Spring in Paris that Stravinsky didn't. Oh, this is not what I'm talking about. We're talking about totally different things. If we're going to redefine art in other terms, I've already told you what it means to me, then I can't respond to what has new music meant to me. It is it is beyond vulgar meaning of the people.

Speaker Well, it's a very interesting thing that comes into play, because I think a lot of the new composers you look at, the kids at Juilliard now are struggling under the same thing that you are. They're not they're not writing. They're not they're not capable or, you know. No, no.

Speaker No one ever said this shows me. No one ever said don't write Bach. Don't. No one ever said right. Beethoven. Right. They only said, move me. And if you think that that is going to move somebody, then I think you've got a problem. If you're setting metronomes and turning your radio to static, if you're doing these kind of things, because it's not like can you write like Puccini? Can you write like, oh, it's all been done before and. I just said, move me if you're not creative enough to come to move me in some way. Don't blame them. When they say new they talk about an artist does nothing new.

Speaker None of the artists that have preceded any of the people in the art world and I mean that in the musical world, also never invented a thing. They just did it their way. Whatever they did, they did it their way. Even if you want to say Schoenberg created a 12th soundscape. From what? Stuff that was always there. Everything is there. He did it just this way. Mozart did it that way. What did they invent? They invented nothing. Artists just do things. They be then they do.

Speaker And they work with the materials that are. So when someone says don't write like Mendelssohn. That's like the negative. How would you prove a negative? You can't. So you say you're a musician and music. B what? Well, and there's two ways to think of music. Benjamin Britten says he's a he's a part of the social contract. He's a part of society. And Penderecki says is I write for two thousand people in the world. So your camp has to be the Penderecki camp or the Benjamin Britten camp. You are part of society as a composer. Well, you write for the two thousand and I say in quotes elite of the world. So I'm on the side of the community. I want the cobbler to be next to the composer. And I want you to do what music does carry something to me through, not the queen of the senses, which can trick me. What in here? And I make of it what I want. The ultimate fantasy. There were no definitions. It comes inside and I go, oh, or I don't go to.

Speaker Do you think that when you see the others, you see so many people in there, so many people, conservatory's now dead?

Speaker Well, you turn it's scary, but, you know, now even I mean, you've obviously been conducting orchestra, as you can see.

Speaker How is this world changing for, you know, hundreds? I mean, you're 700 musicians at Juilliard right now. I mean, what are they coming into a world where, as you say, it's like four years of medical school? Was it four years of medical school? No job. Is it is it or.

Speaker Well, in that it's a professional school in that Juilliard is a professional school, meaning that people want to be performing, composing musicians. And I only addressed the musicians. And they do that. They prepare you for that. Now, why everyone should have wealth and fame. I don't know. It's not written that way. These people only say that they want to make their living. They devoted their life to it, to making music, let's say, well, they can make music for the rest of their lives. What's different? Nothing's different. We need varying degrees of more or less of music in various forms. If you're a violinist and want to play your violin in a symphony orchestra, there will be a place for you. Guaranteed what? There always was a place for the exceptional violinist. You want to be mediocre. What do you want to be poor? Well, then I'm not interested in you. If you're poor or if you're mediocre.

Speaker If you're the best. You can't fail. How can you possibly find preparing you to be the best at what you do?

Speaker Not everybody, not everybody.

Speaker We need other people to do other things. What's what's what's not noble about teaching music? It's wonderful. Then you teach the violin to somebody. Right. I hate to pick on the violin, but I'm just saying there is a place I mean, music is wonderful. It doesn't promise you anything, but. But only the best should be at the top. I would hope.

Speaker So you're actually I mean, what you're saying is really fair or, you know, is that you have to figure out about yourself in this call. No, there's 700 panis here.

Speaker Tell me somebody is you know, how many people are going to have a solo piano career? I mean, and how many people are out there going to see solar panels play? I mean, that's the other struggle. Is it is it is it the or is the audience there, all these people?

Speaker Or will they prove the large statement about the audience is that culture is not a birthright. It didn't come with the dinner. And when people don't want to buy it, it's not gonna be there. So it's not there. We don't happen to live in an age where culture is a birthright. That people actually care about, let's say, cultural things. OK. Does the misfortune of being born at the wrong time? Well, let's get on with it. Now, what are we gonna do? Because I still love music and I still want to make music and I still want to play piano. Piano. The piano repertoire. As a soloist. But that what every student has to grow up in this. In Juilliard does this. It pits you one against another. You can challenge the chair in the orchestra. At least it could then if you wanted to be the first, you challenge the first to play. It's like a duel among wimps instead.

Speaker No one dies when someone gets to play the first chair. It's wonderful because the saying is this is not democracy. This is an art aristocracy. The best will out and they're giving you a chance to be the best. This is wonderful. Where else do you get a chance to see reality? In a sense? Because it, as well as athletics is not a democracy.

Speaker We don't really care that you want to play. If you're not seven foot one and three hundred and thirty pounds like Shaquille O'Neal and you're going for his job and you look like me, then then you belong in places that we don't have anymore. I mean, you know your mind. You're crazy. Do something else. So Juilliard provides an opportunity to say you think you're good. Come on. We've got the good here. Test your mettle against the good. Now, even if you're the best at Julia. That doesn't mean that you're going to win, but at least at Julia, you were the best. How do you know that? Why? Because as a pianist practicing in the next room, they can play better than you can, perhaps because you pass down the wall. You realize that you've been studying that thing. You hear. Oh, wow. And then then he or she comes out in like five years younger than you are. And, you know, an already cutting you up. But please, we want this. This is athletics, right? Plato athletics. Music is the same thing. That's all we want our young people to do. Why? Because it's a lesson. This lesson is gonna be for the rest of your life. And it isn't whether you are going to be the best violinist out there. I just heard Hahn, who's 20 years old, who is like.

Speaker An incredible violinist. So if you're 20 years old, you don't play like her. You want to buy a gun. Not a away. I mean, there's room for you. But but but how do we maintain excellence if we don't have a place like you? We have to say there is excellence. It's an aristocracy. The best we know. But then you get on with life to get to find out that. Well, being good, isn't it? Right. I mean, that doesn't guarantee you it. But at least in your little specialized area of doing whatever you do, we give you an opportunity to say. This could be it. And then you go out into the world and then what happens? Wow. Through your through that instruction, which is a meditation. Right. Julia just teaches a meditation. Be it acting, whatever it is, it's a meditation on it. And what you're doing. Composing. Playing the piano. If you could incorporate that. Because if you can really play the piano. If you can really. I almost said act. You can really play the clarinet. You can really get on with your life if you could learn those lessons that they've just taught you. There's something to be said about accomplishing something at that level that you can apply to yourself. And that's if that isn't what education is all about, then then we lost.

Speaker You're also saying take those lessons with you, find out you're not the best. But what lessons?

Speaker You know, like really well, when you decide to open up what you know as a divine the cell accordion's. Right. Defining the best, of course, is the top 10. Right. So when you look at the top ten, I look at the top 10, you go, huh?

Speaker When you made my list coming out, now they'll be the first, the top.

Speaker When the Academy Award nominations are out, they'll be the top five. And you go. I saw that dog, me. So what? Why? Why do the survivors not necessarily be the best? I saw that that wasn't that good. I didn't like her in that right. No, no, no. And I was pretty good. So among the top 10 list, we have the survivors. We don't have the best what every top 10 list you look at. Tim books the best 10 books of the year. Any one of them, your dog meat. I read that. It's terrible. I can't spell.

Speaker How can that be? It made it up because that's not the criteria for success. They don't get that at that place because they don't teach. They're not supposed to teach you that. That comes later.

Speaker How do you survive? Well, you got to get there. You've got to get into the. Get out. You got to. How do you survive? Well, in a hatchet fight, I'm going to leave this room, distribute hatchets to everybody here. And I'm telling you, I'm leaving this room. How do you do that? Well, I don't know. Well, some people will become mediocre. And some people will open up a music store. And some people and some people will be on airplanes going from every major city in the world from the earliest times of the great professional musicians. And that tradition will carry on. But not because of anything except that human nature of it all. Some people will. And some some.

Speaker Well, you know, at Juilliard, maybe it's in composition. It's even more ethereal that it's you know, there's a certain level of technique you're going to have. I mean, you're going to come in and you're going to you're going to play really well. I mean. Right. Earlier today, John Williams was saying I was live here. I wasn't a very good pianist. I mean, I was like 25 years old, was like everybody was better, was better.

Speaker Everybody was better.

Speaker But, you know, you you sort of come in with that with that sense of you're pretty good in a way. Because you've already gotten there. Your teachers are sort of, you know, way you're nurturing your fear, forging the intellectual relationships with them.

Speaker And really, after the sort of technique in the real world, we're talking about luck. We're talking about your luck, your talent and your ambition.

Speaker Yeah. Let's just have a purpose of discussion. Let's exclude luck. Although we know Fortuna is needed. You know, we want good luck. We don't want bad luck.

Speaker But if we can if we can reduce everything to a technique and an idea, which in my opinion, we can't everything is only either a technique which is and that's what the school has to lock into. We can teach you techniques. Why? Because what about the idea, the idea of you, the concept of you, your plan for the rest of the future? Well, it could be a technique. But what is what is the vision of that? They have a difficult time because it's none of their business. Their business is technique.

Speaker And if you can intuit through this other way, you know, through the technique, through this meditation that I'm combing through, the your actual survival at Juilliard, your actual survival is a lesson about.

Speaker Well, I graduated. Some people didn't. That said something about other things other than technique.

Speaker That's the idea of becoming a survivor of of succeeding when you make success, a goal which is a tragedy, success as a to be right. I'm here. I want to be there. And when it doesn't happen, then you buy the gun when success becomes a journey. Very corny. But when the success does become a journey, then you're okay. Opening up the door to the Ace Music Company, 15th Street and you sell accordions. And the guy walking behind the elephants is in show business. I'm in show business. I'm in a circus, and he's OK. Why? Because it's not a destination anymore. If it was a destination, he's going to buy a gun. Once it becomes a journey, he can be OK with himself. Why do we have to have this other goal? Why do we have to have the goal that that that promotes expectation? Well, expectation is dangerous. Our goal is not dangerous. Expectation is dangerous. But the journey. I want to be the best musician that I can possibly be, the best actor dancer. And they teach you that. Please. You want more than that?

Speaker I mean, you know, I mean, you've got to pay for it. What's the tuition here? Because that's what you're giving me. That's what I want. No more. No less.

Speaker One point. I think maybe either that better than George M..

Speaker Yeah. Or or is it. Well, somebody laughs. Yeah. The thing really. Because.

Speaker Because you said you have no idea what you should it. Is it really this career as an elbow has made his career. He he left.

Speaker Yeah. Mestas. I see the red light.

Speaker I just went I always went for it.

Speaker Well Master No Master has obviously is a strong willed and opinionated person who can say anything you want at any given time. But he was my conducting teacher and and I was commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra to write a piece of music during one of the Olympics. And normally, whether it's ego, whether whether it's ego or not, I'd like to conduct my own music. And they said, well, you know, we have a new conductor this year and we'd prefer, if you don't mind, to have him conducted. And I was already getting set to be belligerent. He says, Oh, hey, mister. Oh, no. I couldn't possibly direct my piece of music to a man who is a wonderful conductor who I had studied with. Of course, you we're great at least instructor and and conductor himself. I mean, the teachers were just wonderful.

Speaker You also work with. No. No. Or did not have involvements with Elliott Carter.

Speaker He was there. I didn't have the kind of personal stuff I. Roger Sessions. Luciano Berio. What about you? Well, Luciano Berio came to the school for for the year and the class was opera, Monteverdi to Puccini, something like that.

Speaker And for someone who was writing opera and was his life. Oh, my goodness. A class with Luciano Berio. And there was like you had to have a maintain a certain average and the class was gonna be limited to only the four or five kids and men. And it just died to get in that class. And did that September Luciano shows up and he showed up with the book.

Speaker And he said, good morning. We died. He couldn't speak a word of English. And rubbing shoulders with with a great composer is also an honor. But still, when they don't have the language and I didn't have a Italian at the time, it was like a waste.

Speaker And Roger said, Roger Sessions, Roger Sessions, a wonderful composer who had come from Princeton to to also do a sabbatical.

Speaker I don't know what it was called, but they did those stints at the school.

Speaker Another case of where we all wanted to be with Roger Sessions, who was a sweet man, a wonderful man. And we all got there. And he began by reminiscing and he could reminisce about Schoenberg, Weyburn. He actually knew these people. He also he did not know Thomas Mann. To my recollection. But but he knew a friend of his anyway.

Speaker He he he knew these people. And he would kind of reminisce a bit. I remember being in Paris with Stravinsky and Schoenberg and we would do this. And as students, you got to know that to hear him talk about the people, the great names of the 20th century that he actually had lunch with was wonderful for about a week.

Speaker Then he talked about them for the whole semester. And he said, well, he I saw him in Rome. He came to Rome. I took him in my little red sports car someplace. We went someplace to eat very proper man with a very improper student. This little red Chinese Fiat sports car with this brown thing and his tie running through the streets around like a maniac. But a sweet man and a good composer, of course.

Speaker Just before real, I said, you know, actually, I do agree, you know.

Speaker You know, it's not the be all, end all, be all. It's the people who made up the good.

Speaker What does it mean?

Speaker What in the world do you think people people come, you know, name your history.

Speaker So what does a Juilliard degree ultimately mean to that student? On one level, it's like graduating from, let's say, Yale with a law degree. Well, in law circles, you say I graduated from Yale. Now there are people from Harvard and say, so what? But the other people that graduated from Yale or Stanford or other good school, that is, it's a good law department. There would be alumni that would interact and all know each other and what class reunion and stuff like that in music. I imagine because of the very nature of it, that when you say I graduated from Juilliard and you say, oh, well, I did two or, you know, of other Juilliard graduates, you would have reminisces, reminisces of the time when you were there. If you were there at the same time or different time to different teachers you might have had. So it becomes this tragic rather than than fortuitous, like a lawyer might get into a firm because he did graduate from Yale, that you could graduate from Juilliard and were auditioning for the Philadelphia Orchestra when they put you behind the screen, because sometimes auditions are done behind the screen without knowing who it is, gender or where you went to school is probably meaningless. So in the professional world, other than the self knowledge of of I went to a really great school. I don't know what it can mean. If you went to the smaller town, you could probably strut if you if that was of your nature, which would be the wrong way to use a degree like that. So I can't say that the degree is as meaningful in the area of music as in other fields, because like athletics, if it's performance, then what have you done for me lately? Like, how good is your Mendelssohn Violin Concerto or can you pass the audition to an orchestra that's looking for an oboist? In my case, composition. Can I write a piece of music that people want to hear or my case specifically that a producer, a director would like to hear? It's a sense of self pride for sure, for everyone who's passed through the boot camp of at all.

Speaker You were mentioning behind the screen you think music is beginning the same criteria as the struggle of the actors, where you can't just bring your talent, your looks, it's your charisma, it's here. How do you how do you shake your stuff? What does it mean? Do you think that how can you work through all of that into your work?

Speaker Well, what they can't what they can't teach you. It was always there, but they can't teach you at Juilliard. Of course, this is how to conduct yourself on this other level. And I'm going to refer to it still as survival, because if you can't work a room, then you don't belong in the business. If you want to be. I can't. I'm trying to think of of a hermit musician composer who does not need to be accepted by anyone at any time, not unlike a painter who says, I hear I do. People who like a they don't. The social aspects of music presume another person to listen or two to two. You need a job. If everyone is equal, why wouldn't the guy pick someone that he liked rather always someone that you didn't like? Well, don't you know that isn't this simple. There's a negative face to put on it all. Oh, it's who you know. Yes. By the way. And it's not negative. It's just true. So do you have to sell your wares? I certainly hope so. Everyone else does. What about the people that don't sell their wares there in Minneapolis? Out of work. What do you want? In other words, do you want to be the capitals of the world as an acclaimed artist? We should have people like what you do. And would be nice if they liked you. Because if if you became that great person and you became eccentric and made the things that divas are all about, people would actually put up with you. You wouldn't be drummed out of the business because you were difficult to work with. You won't be drummed into the business if you are difficult to meet or difficult to do business with. Now, it makes sense to me. So I don't see that there's a problem with survivors in learning the skills of survival that say people should basically like you. Well, do I have to prostitute myself? You can call it anything you want. So we can approach it from any any any angle you want. But having people like you was hardly prostitution. I think the act is like, wonderful. But if you're paying for it at all, I might be called something else.

Speaker But do not be confused about the rest of your life and what you want to do. And if it takes other people to help you along the way and you won't influence them with your positive aspects. Man, you've got a problem. And by the way, we don't want you in the business because everyone else does know how to do it. We learned how to do it. Some are good. Some are medium and some are poor. And you've got to know the bigger thing is the medium. Few are really great and only a few are really poor. It's so boring to be in this middle, but everybody in the middle is still trying to get better.

Speaker Do you still have a whole sort of this sort of last question, which just like a sort of a romantic comedy, you still have a really kind of, you know, romantic love of music, of your of your own experiences at Juilliard.

Speaker You still have that kind of artistic journey feeling this ever. This has all of that stayed with you. And it's your experience at Juilliard, sort of part of that.

Speaker The music, my musical experience, because you began back with grandfather and father and went through an evolution, without a doubt.

Speaker I would have to say one of the fondest memories are those that that occurred because of Julie Julia. Juilliard was a very special place to me because of its high standards that that created in me a survival instinct. If I can say it in those terms, if if if I defined technique an idea as one thing, the technique is very boring. Anyone that can play all the notes doesn't mean that you're going to win that degree, doesn't mean that you're going to be a star. But Juilliard really made maybe feel because of the competitive nature that you were in an elite force, that you were among those commandos, that you never wanted to not be a part of that group. This is wonderful. And where did you learn it? I went to a wonderful university, didn't teach me that people wanted to get on with their lives. People wanted to actually. Two things out of many of a different nature. The whole spectrum of do things I wanted to do music and Juilliard provided me with that inspiration. If you could say on this other level, love, music, music. One hundred percent. But even on the other level, I never want to leave that elite force of people that want it at the max. Not just a little bit, not just to get an I want to kill in that sense. I want to do it the best I can possibly. Well, I got that at Juilliard. I really did. Now, were they saying that by their very being and doing.

Speaker They said that.

Speaker Excellent.

Speaker Why do something? No, I don't have.

Speaker I'm always a little. I guess. But I was a little taken aback by when you said you've got a bunch of negative or you had some negative vibes. But for me, I obviously, you know what?

Speaker I have to be really honest, a lot more of the rest of the drama division. They're not I don't have a lot of I mean, music because the music relationships at school are deeply wonderful.

Speaker And actors and actresses you can't hardly talk to, not just let her know her experience is her experience to delay and how she gets out into the world. It's the sort of people often go to Juilliard and not in your case necessarily, but they're they're following a teacher. And that's true to this day. I mean, you're going. Yes. John Williams. I went to Julia because really, you know, she was teaching piano the greatest pianist alive in the world.

Speaker Yes. So the music special is different. Yeah. That is the deep history.

Speaker So it's just a drama department was they shouldn't even have any way north.

Speaker The only thing worse now, the drama department is out there.

Speaker The worst is even talking to actors and actresses is eating with them, eating with them. Don't let me do 20 minutes into my business. I mean, it's a perfect triangle. We both love him or her. All of that stuff that she can say about him, he even inspired as they are.

Speaker I just have no use for them.

Speaker And the whole difference, Juilliard, which is a myth. It's every other person, every singer, every musician, every dancer that walks into the door. Juilliard is already a very high level. That's how they got in the door. The actors are there on one audition after having done, you know, Bye Bye Birdie in high school, potentially, which is a big risk factor.

Speaker Take it take it to the ultimate limit, if just for a second. In other words, you've become a big. There's two categories of actors. Right. We'll go back to the technique and idea. Right. So the technique like Bobby DeNiro. Oh, he knows how to act.

Speaker Well, I'm not going to deny that I'm a Schwarzenegger. You can't take your eyes off him if he's on the screen. Stars still known John Wayne. You can't take your eyes off them when they're on the screen. And then there's a bunch of actors who really know how to act. So they're valid. In other words, John Wayne is valid, but in music, you can't do that. You can't say me and I could look at her all day.

Speaker If she's not going to sing, if you couldn't play, that violated the piano and really nail it. Look how pretty she is. Oh, what that look is. You've got to go get the her next. But the actress shows up and she's got to look this just right for that part.

Speaker And they write a pipe, which is only says a few words and she could be magnificent in that part. And the first to say she could be magnificent in that part, totally invalidating their whole profession.

Speaker Well, in a sense, you know, I'm saying I can't get away with that. Well, in my business, you can't. But I'm saying, if I won't play the piano for you, I'm going to nail it.

Speaker Well, you're gonna go. My cousin plays Beethoven or I can do better than that. Get him out of here. But all of a sudden, Clint Eastwood goes. Make my day. Now, there's something special about Clint going make my day right. I mean, it's undeniable. But I don't want it in my business. I don't want someone that knows how to play the piano. Sort of. I like the way he looks playing the piano.

Speaker All right. OK.

Speaker How many more you got to do? He's leaving. I'm the last one. Am I the last one? OK. Thank God. As an actor, there's an actor and actor.

Speaker Julie. Well, of course. Will you be mad? Of course. We met. We didn't do anything for me. Oh, hardly.

Speaker And it was on his resumé, though, right? It's on the resume. All right.

Speaker You can find it on the Internet. Care what you do for your seemingly.

Speaker Well, I mean, that's the other thing is, you know, people can get kicked out of school, walk out of school, not be. Right. Incredibly right. For the business.

Speaker Oh, well, it's it's academia. Right. Look, under the heading of school, where else you want to put it. It has to go into high school. But it's OK. What do you do with young people? It has to be schools valid. There was a guy that said what? One of the reasons I love this. Why he wouldn't be a teacher. Geniuses don't need to be taught. Dullards can never be taught. And all those mediocre people in the middle, I just bought no reason to teach. Thank goodness that Julia doesn't feel that way about teaching because they've turned out primo people for years, obviously by having primo instructors. It's a great school and it's noble. I mean, it's the genius doesn't need a school. But that's the aberration. Right. The guy comes out. He just does it. He does a great fine. You don't need Julia. A lot of people don't need Julia. What's all this other mediocre people who do the dullards they won't take the genius will fly through. And I'm not talking about the drama. Well, you know, the wizard pianist who who's got it? And she's 10 years old. Well, if there's a hot teacher, Julia is like a Levine that could form her as well. Great. Otherwise, it's for the rest of us.

Speaker And what have you been back to the school?

Speaker Oh, why don't you a sense. Oh, let me tell you. Let me tell you.

Speaker I give just one thing about. So this guy at ABC, my we were talking off camera before about Sam Donaldson. The reason, the five time. So the guy says, how would you like to do a live sporting events with an orchestra? I love it. So he says this is two years past. He calls me eyepieces, the New York Marathon. How'd you like to do it? Live with an orchestra. And my brain child was what are they going to do on a show about a marathon? Someone's gonna win. Right. So the music's got to go. Someone's gonna lose the music. What's your handicap? People always gonna be. So you're gonna go. The music's gonna go like that.

Speaker You're gonna go to all different parts of town. Oh, Chinatown is where the Jews are. Italians are over their music.

Speaker This is all music, right? Oh, the Verizon over its beauty shop.

Speaker So in my head, I said I bet I could score alive a sporting event. And this guy says Marathon. I call Joseph Police. Would you like to join me? Meaning the Juilliard Orchestra playing live for the New York Marathon.

Speaker Now, send some guys over there, guys from ABC came over. He said yes. So right there at Lincoln Center with a truck outside and people running around. I had the Juilliard Orchestra and we did it live music, too. I got two Emmys. The kids got a rush at being able to do, you know, we're live on the air. So, you know, and what we do. We didn't know what was gonna happen next. We didn't know when the winner was gonna win. Although. When we got to the end, you know, with the winner is the director once high shots, right? Because high shots given scope.

Speaker Millions of people in little bitty runners. I just now give me a close shot. I got to see when this guy crosses the line. I don't want to play the music when it hits. I can't go close. Go close. Please, please. Please. The music's playing.

Speaker And. What I've gotta do is judge. Here's the finish line. Here's the runners. Go closer. I mean, is that for miles? What does that mean in minutes? Because I'm got music. The orchestra has one earphone. Right. And I'm gonna go right now, jump to measure 78 when I tell. You know, when I tell him. So this is what I do in Academy Awards. I mean, these things are very so the students of Juilliard was just like an edge of their chairs freaking out on this Sunday morning. And we nailed it. We did all the things we had to do with it. So when I went back for that, it was a thrill to be able to suggest that the Juilliard Symphony to the New York Marathon.

Speaker Yeah. You were the best in years.

Speaker Yeah. And who who is previous to man?

Speaker Because it was she became head of the center.

Speaker So I was there for both.

Speaker If the dates check out the change, not the presidency. The sense of you know.

Speaker Oh no. I think Joe Lisa I think might have been might be the first proper president of school. That is not a titular head, a figurehead, a man of both human and men and composers. And they might be brilliant administrators. Might have been. I do not know that. I know that they were good composers. And it was always kind of neat to think that, president, my school can kick your butt, you know, in that he's a composer. He's a real great composer, which they both work. But I think show policing is without a doubt a great administrator. I never heard of any music that he wrote. However, I like everything about him in terms of what I know in terms of Juilliard and where it's going. For me, it's great. It's always too big. I want to go back to being able to sit down in the cafeteria with my major professor and have other professors around. But every corporation, I guess, has to grow. Why? We don't have to go.

Speaker Why don't we just draw more of the dollars they're going to get rid of?

Speaker I mean, you've got to know that they're admitting some people that that if they didn't want to grow, would not be there.

Speaker Well, the other thing that's someone great.

Speaker Yes, he did.

Speaker If oftentimes in the dorms, it made a huge difference in the life of the interaction, which is or at least for a while, good, the bad.

Speaker Well, it's more school like in a don't in the acceptable to dorm sense rather than a C Street school. You know, a city school where everybody comes in. I enjoyed my apartment right next door, you know. I mean, it was nothing but good things to say about the direction it's going. But maybe all guys all look back to theirs and say it was better for me. You know, how was it for you? Well, I was better for me than it was for them, because it's new. It's spiffy. And there's people and too many people. How can you know more and.

Bill Conti
Found in: Juilliard
Interview Date:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-3n20c4t374, cpb-aacip-504-833mw28x6d, cpb-aacip-504-t14th8cc25
"Bill Conti, Juilliard." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 13 May. 2000,
(2000, May 13). Bill Conti, Juilliard. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET).
"Bill Conti, Juilliard." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). May 13, 2000. Accessed July 05, 2022


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