NY Times

From an article I read; not sure which one:

In the end, maybe going to a conservatory is like being a compulsive gambler: It is one big bet, but the drive to study music is so blinding, and doing anything else so inconceivable, that young players are oblivious to the risk. Sometimes it is hard to determine whether they are driven by single-mindedness or they live in self-denial.

Once at Juilliard, they discover the inherent paradox of being a classical musician. You call called on to be expressive, imaginative, creative, somehow in touch with the mystical reaches of art, an individual. But you are also called on to ply a craft with exceeding skill, meshing a complex of minute physical activities in the service f black markings on a page and the composers who wrote them, often submerging yourself in the crowd. And you do it all with the purpose of making a living.

Inevitably, many will be disillusioned; some, enough so to leave the profession. BUt every one of those graduates has an indelible stamp.

“Even if my instrument was destroyed,” said Nora McInerney Fuentes, a violinist who works in public relations for Time Warner, “the gifts that I was given and what I’ve done with them – no one can take them away from me.”

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