Alex Ross at JCCSF
October 31, 2008
* Notes *
Alex Ross was interviewed yesterday by San Francisco Chronicle music critic Joshua Kosman as part of the JCCSF's Arts & Ideas series. We heard about how Ross was surprised by a phone call from Chicago one Monday, and his concern it was about the repossession of his cats. Of course, it was the MacArthur Foundation, letting him know he had was one of the 2008 MacArthur Fellows. It was an entertaining conversation, we learned that The New Yorker offices are not filled with doddering alcoholic writers spouting witticisms and that Ross' first draft of The Rest is Noise was 1,200 pages long and took two years to cut down. It certainly was fun to hear about how Ross came to 20th century music as college student, and how he didn't know that one was not supposed to like Stockhausen, Ligeti, Britten, and Vaughan Williams all at the same time. Read a more complete account of what happened over here.
* Tattling *
Fisher Hall was sold out and the crowd was exceedingly respectful. Ross took questions from the audience, and we were treated to an anecdote about Jackie Kennedy's response to Aaron Copland's Connotations.
I had my copy of The Rest is Noise signed by Mr. Ross, and I was too shy to mention The Opera Tattler to him. Thankfully, the author of Not For Fun Only piped up about it, so I got to be completely abashed, etc. I also had the pleasure of meeting Joshua Kosman, who regaled me with a fine tattle about loud snoring at a recent symphony performance.