Performer and Scholar of
Double Bass and Violone
A conversation with Bruce Duffie
|Jerry Fuller began studying the double bass
at age 16 and was invited to join the Lyric Opera of Chicago orchestra
three years later. Within two years he was promoted to first desk of
the double bass section in addition to performing with the Santa Fe
Opera. Mr Fuller has also served as solo double bass of The
Musikkollegium Winterthur Switzerland. While in Europe, Mr. Fuller
became interested in historically-informed performance practice and has
achieved international recognition for his work with period
instruments. A Chicago Artists Abroad grant recipient, Mr.Fuller’s
performances in London, Rome, Geneva and Edinburgh have been broadcast
worldwide. In addition, Mr. Fuller has performed at the Ravinia and the
Aspen Music Festivals and both the Boston and Berkeley Early Music
His recordings on the Musical Arts Society, Cedille and Centaur labels
have been hailed by both critics and colleagues. Mr. Fuller also writes
on period instruments and performance practice for The Strad, Double Bassist, and Bass World magazines, serves on the
editorial board of the Online
Journal of Bass Research and is webmaster for the Double Bass and Violone Internet Archive.
Mr. Fuller served as an officer of the Board of Directors of the
International Society of Bassists 1990-1996 and has appeared as a guest
artist with the American Bach Soloists of San Francisco, the Handel and
Haydn Society of Boston and the Newberry Consort of Chicago.
He is principal double bassist of the Haymarket Opera, Callipygian
Players and The Bach Institute at Valparaiso University. In addition he
is Director of both ArsAntiguaPresents.com and the Midwest Young
Artists Early Music Program for which he was awarded the Early Music
America Outreach Award for Excellence in Early Music Education.
Jerry also has received a Special Recognition Award for Historically
Informed Performance from the International Society of Bassists. This
award is given once every two years to a bassist who has demonstrated
and achieved the highest level of excellence in historically informed
-- From the Ars Antigua
Ars Antigua is an affiliate of Early Music America and member of Early
name of full disclosure, I am happy to report that Jerry Fuller is a
long-standing friend of mine... and it was not until I just typed that
sentence that I realized the phrase ‘long-standing’
also applies to his position with his chosen instruments! Indeed,
we talk about that later in the interview.
We have stayed in touch over the years, and have many friends in
common. We also have a mutual interest in Northwestern
University, and while I was teaching there (2002-11), I asked Jerry to
come and do an instrumental demonstration for my Music 101 class. He brought
another friend with him, the gambist Phillip W. Serna, as well as a
third instrument, as can be seen in the photo of all of us at
right. [Serna also appears in the final photo at the bottom of
No stranger, himself, to teaching, the next photo below shows Fuller
giving a demonstration and workshop for the Midwest Young Artists in
Lake Forest, IL, in 2006. The other photos on this page show
Fuller in performances at various venues with Ars Antiqua, the Baroque
Band, and the Callipygian Players.
In the spring of 1997, I wanted to present a special program featuring
his recordings and comments on WNIB, Classical 97, where I was
announcer/producer from 1975-2001. He liked the idea, so we got
together at his home that June for this conversation.
I began with what seemed to be an obvious question . . . . . . . . .
Why the double bass?
when I was sixteen years old, going to a concert in my little hometown
in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where the
Milwaukee Symphony was playing a concert at Wayland Academy. My
parents saw them there regularly. My father had played the violin
youth, though I had never witnessed either of them performing on a
musical instrument. I was intrigued, and still remember the
concert very well. The big work was Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. It was
totally random, but for some reason I was placed in front of the double
bass section, and as I observed all of this, the bass clearly
seemed to be having the best time of any group in the
orchestra. And the sound was just phenomenal to my ears!
At intermission I went up and talked to Roger Ruggeri, the
principal bass then and who is still principal bass there. He is
a very fine
BD: You had
not played violin or trumpet before
no. A little bit of piano, but really
nothing. It was like a thunder bolt that struck me, so
I asked him at intermission, “I’d love to take lessons on the double
bass. Who could I do this with? He said, “In this
little town I’m not sure what you’re going to do.” But
in Madison, Wisconsin, there was a very fine teacher, Vera Olson, and
that I contact her. So I did that and then I made the trip
to Madison, which was a bus ride away, every Saturday, and started
sixteen, though, you were tall enough so you could handle the
right. The world has evolved
and progressed, in one sense, in the intervening time. It was
typical back in the late 1960s and early 1970s that one would
wait until they were in high school, or large enough to get their hands
around this instrument. Now there are programs all around the
world for young students, seven, eight, nine years old, to play on
half-size and smaller double basses. There are makers out
there today that are making those instruments, and there are
wonderfully dedicated teachers that are teaching very young
students, and getting them started much earlier on the bass.
BD: Is it
better to start on
the double bass, or to start on the violin and transfer to the double
bass? Or maybe start on the cello and transfer to the double bass?
biased. I think going right to the
double bass is a wonderful thing to do, especially with the instruments
that are available now and the fine teachers that are available
Go right to the instrument and learn that literature and the
techniques and the unique sounds, and everything that’s special about
the double bass right from the beginning.
BD: Does it
still surprise people that it can be a
JF: Yes, but
less so. It’s
interesting. The year I started, Gary
Karr put out his very first recording, a wonderful recording, but prior
to that there were
maybe one or two recordings available that featured the double bass at
all. I remember after my second or third lesson in Madison, going
into the local record store and finding a recording by
Georg Hörtnagel, from Germany, doing Dittersdorf’s Concerto and
Sinfonia Concertante with
viola. That was all there
was! It was a marvelous sound, a marvelous recording, and then
the famous Gary Karr recording came out, which everybody
knows. Now there are pages and pages and pages of CDs
and recordings in the catalogue, so that has contributed
enormously to the visibility of the double bass, and to people’s
BD: [With a
gentle nudge] I hardly think the double bass is something that
can be invisible. [Both laugh]
BD: Are there
times when you wish you’d taken
up the piccolo?
JF: Only on
long plane rides. I’ll never forget... I was traveling to Rome
with William Ferris, the Chicago composer who had written
a marvelous piece for
tenor, harp, and double bass, which we were going to perform at the
Vatican. I got on the plane with the double bass, and sat it
in the seat next to me.
BD: Did you
have to buy a ticket for it?
was an older Italian lady who did not speak English at all, but
certainly got her point across about what she thought of having a
double bass sitting next to her. [Both laugh again]
BD: Not very
happy, was she?
It can be a little bit tense times, but
there are benefits. You always get an extra meal on the flight...
BD: You not
only play the standard
double bass, but you also play a baroque instrument of that size?
Yes. As the years went along, I’ve acquired an interest in
musical genealogy, if you will. One of the ancestors, or the
ancestor, to the double bass is an
instrument called the violone. It’s a fascinating world to
me, and the terminology is a little bit complex, in the sense that this
one term ‘violone’ really
refers to at least three slightly different
instruments. The earliest known reference to the violone
was in the mid-1500s, the mid-16th century, and in fact I have a
reproduction of an instrument that’s now in the Nuremberg museum.
It’s a contrabbasso violone in the sixteen foot
register, the same register as a double bass, but it is a six-stringed
fretted instrument that’s tuned an octave below the viola da gamba, the
bass viola da gamba. So it’s a D to D tuning. That
instrument was widely used in that era between 1550 and, say,
1700. By 1680
it was starting to fall out of use.
BD: Are the
strings tuned in fourths like in the double
and thirds like a viola da gamba,
which is interesting. If you look at the modern orchestra today,
the violin family is violin, viola, cello, and their ancestors were
always of the violin family. There’s this myth that
circulates every now and then that their ancestors were really the
gambas, but they’re really a separate family. The gamba family is
a separate family, but the modern double bass grew out of the gamba
family, whereas the modern other stringed instruments really grew out
the violin family, and evolved from there.
you’re playing the double bass,
though, you have the strings tuned in fourths?
BD: And it
has no frets?
BD: So it’s a
completely different fingering
of the left hand?
JF: Yes, they
are different tunings.
The D-tuned violone contrabbasso is a different tuning, and it’s a
wonderful tuning for low consort music of the German and Italian
BD: So you
to go back and forth between those two, the old and the new?
JF: Yes, yes,
BD: Does that
make you schizophrenic at all?
[Laughs] Well... there’s some question whether I was that
way before these two instruments or not... but it takes a little bit of
you getting used to. The more one does it, the more facile one
comes to do
this. But there is a little bit of that. So that’s one
the violone family. There’s another instrument that was in use at
the time that’s also known as the violone, and it’s a G violone.
It’s a violone da gamba and it’s tuned a fourth lower than the bass
viola da gamba.
BD: Is it written
at pitch or is it a transposing instrument?
written at pitch. It’s not a transposing instrument, as the
bass is, one octave down, and as is the violone contrabbasso is, one
octave down as well. When you read it on a G violone, it is at
pitch. So the top four strings are tuned G—D—A—F or E, depending
on which source you look at, but very similar to a double bass, only an
octave higher. Then there are two more strings, a C and a G,
so it starts getting you into that sixteen foot register as well.
This is a marvelous chamber music instrument, and was most widely
used before the steel strings or the wound string for the cello, which
were invented around 1680. This violone da gamba was
really used as the main bass or continuo instrument prior to that
time. Then there’s more. In terms of violone
in the late 1700s and early 1800s, there’s something called the
Viennese violone, which was a five stringed instrument. From top
bottom it would go A—F sharp—D—A—F natural, in the sixteen foot
register. In this very short period in terms of history, only
twenty-five years or so, a huge golden age of solo repertoire for the
Viennese violone grew up with those people. In fact, Mozart wrote
concert aria Per Questa Bella Mano
for baritone and violone.
does Dragonetti fit into all of this?
JF: He was
slightly later, and he was playing on an
instrument that was tuned one of two ways — the
way a modern
double bass is, G to A, or he was known, at times, to perform on a
three stringed instrument, G—D—G. So you can see the history
of this instrument is one of great creativity and experimentation.
BD: Has it
settled down now to where there is a
standard double bass?
Relatively, compared to the terms we’ve been
talking in, yes. It tends to be a four stringed instrument,
G—D—A—E from top to bottom, and tuned in fourths. However,
compared to the violin, it’s interesting. When you talk to
orchestral musicians about auditions, if they hear a violinist play
and then they hear a bass audition, they are always amazed at the
different approaches, styles, ways of tuning, that the double basses
still have relative to a violin. If someone’s playing a
Tchaikovsky violin concerto, it’s a big deal whether they move over one
string or not. It’s a very standardized
repertoire pedagogically, and in the approach to the
instrument. This certainly is not true today for the double
bass. I just returned
from a trip to Paris, where I was just amazed. We heard a
marvelous performance of Carmen
at the Opera Bastille, and the bass
section played exactly alike. Their instruments were all of
similar shape and similar make. They all played with a French bow
and they all had a similar sound. When you come to a symphony
orchestra or opera orchestra here
in the United States, one person’s playing a
German bow, another’s using a French bow, and their basses are of all
different sizes. Some have five strings on them. Most have
four with low C extensions, and they all studied with
different people and they have very different influences.
BD: Does it
make a huge difference if each player’s using exactly the same
instrument, or if they’re all playing different ones to get the same
JF: There’s a
lot to be
said for either approach. I find it interesting to still
be able to go to a country like France and hear one stylistic approach
to the music. There is a certain blend. Even if I may
personally disagree, or feel that it’s not my favorite approach, still,
there’s a lot to be said for the uniformity of approach to the
instrument. It makes a very strong statement, stylistically.
BD: If an
American orchestra has an opening or
two in the bass section, should they try to make everyone conform to
one standard, or try to remake the section over years?
JF: I don’t
think it’s possible anymore in this
country. I truly think one of the things
that drew me to the instrument was the possibilities that do exist,
and the availability to be creative with the instruments, to try new
things and to look for different approaches. It is the state of
the art in America today,
and we could not go back to any other possibility at this point.
Tell me about your own instruments.
JF: I have a
Stadlmann Viennese violone, and I have a G violone which is a
reproduction of an instrument by Ernst Busch, a German maker, in
1604. The reproduction was made by a very, very talented maker
now living in the United States, an Englishman named John Pringle who
works extensively in the instruments of the gamba family. I also
have the reproduction of the Nuremberg instrument I mentioned
before, and that was made by a gentleman named Dominic
Zuchowicz, a Canadian luthier.
BD: Is it the
repertoire, then, that makes the decision as to which instrument you
absolutely. It is the repertoire, the place
and time that the repertoire was written, which drives the choice of
BD: Are there
times that you need two
different instruments in a single concert?
that’s come up fairly
often. As you know, I’m particularly interested in early
music, and when music on the first half is programmed from the Baroque
period and the second half is of the Classical era, one
goes back and forth a little bit.
BD: That must
be a terrible burden on you to bring
[Laughs] Well, it just demands a larger
BD: It’s a
lot different than bringing an A and a B
Right. But it’s
all worth it. It’s great fun.
advice do you have for younger bass players coming along?
JF: The world
of possibilities continues
to expand for the double bass. It’s just phenomenal! I was
actually in attendance at the first
International Double Bass Society Convention in 1968, and there
was a gathering of a total of about forty people in Madison,
Wisconsin. It was headed up by
Gary Karr, and there were some very notable bassists — Fred Batchelder
from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Warren Benfield from the Chicago
Symphony, Richard Davis who was a
very famous jazz bass player and now professor at the University of
Wisconsin, Knut Guettler from Norway... Sort of
the grandfathers, now, of the modern bass movement were
all there. It was really an ear- and eye-opening experience.
BD: Was there
an immediate camaraderie amongst all
absolutely. It was
people who had been pursuing the same goals for many years coming
together and finding that they had friends, unbeknownst to them, who
had been pursuing similar things for years.
mock horror] “My god! I’m not alone!”
[Laughs] Exactly. But I bring
that up because here it is 1997, and very talented player and teacher,
Ellison, who teaches at Rice University, recently held the umpteenth
bi-annual convention, and there were, I guess, a couple of
thousand double bassists all in Houston for that convention,
pursuing everything from avant-garde jazz to early music, orchestral
music, solo literature, everything.
BD: Is it
good for someone to play both the old music
and the new music, rather than specializing?
JF: There’s a
lot to be learned from
both. I’m a strong advocate of doing both. Having a
historical perspective on performance techniques and styles gives you
greater flexibility, and you are more conscious of different
possibilities of articulation and approach no matter what style you
are playing. Similarly, a focus on some of the modern
techniques and technical standards is at a fairly high level. To
bring that technical standard and excellence to the early music is very
beneficial, as well. So cross-pollination is very helpful
BD: Do you do
any world premieres?
JF: I have.
BD: Is that
extremely. As I
mentioned, I was doing some work in Rome with William Ferris, and we
have had a very strong and good collaboration over the years. He
has written a number of chamber works and solo pieces for me, and I
find working with a composer like Bill opens
another window into the creation of music. Being part of actually
birthing a piece is a very, very exciting thing to do, and I
would recommend that all musicians, all performers, seek out soul mates
who are composers and work with them because it really
energizes both the composer and the performer to work collaboratively
and give birth to something new.
BD: What should a
composer know about the
double bass that is generally not known, before he writes the
piece? It can be assumed that the composer would know a great
deal about the
violin or the piano, probably having played it or studied it, but not
the double bass.
interesting, because I’ve worked with a
number of composers where the balance and volume levels of
the instrument surprised them. It’s a huge instrument, as
you noted, to lug around or look at, and sometimes composers think that
because it’s physically big it has a huge penetrating sound, which is
not the case. It is a physically big instrument, but it has a
very warm, sensuous, luscious, mellow sound, rather than a penetrating,
piercing sound. So the issue of balance with an orchestral
accompaniment, in terms of concerto, or even with the piano in a sonata
setting can be a surprise to composers.
BD: Do you
put the piano lid down rather than have the lid up?
that’s very interesting, because merely closing the lid on the piano
does not solve the problem. It
changes the whole overtone series of the piano sound, so it merely
dampens and acts as a mute, rather than really addressing the
issue of the relative volumes of both instruments. The
real answer is where the composer places the accompanying
figures in terms of register on the piano or other instruments, and
what tone colors are used in an orchestra. Then it’s a
matter of simply staying
out of the way of the solo line of the double bass.
the accompaniment stay at middle C and
above most of the time?
which plays tricks on the listener’s ear,
because we’re all conditioned to listen to the top of the register for
the melody. So when the melody appears in the bottom of the
range, of the pitch register, and the accompaniment is above, it can be
disconcerting for an audience’s ears that aren’t prepared for that
experience. But this links it all back into the 16th and 17th
century, because as you well know, one of the most popular
forms of music in that era was the madrigal. In those, there was
just one melody on top and everything else was the accompaniment.
part was its own separate melody that fit together with the harmonic
structure. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so drawn to early
music, because each voice has its own melody, and that’s
certainly true of the bass part as well.
sung many madrigals earlier in my life, they are wonderful!
JF: There you
go. Unfortunately, what occurred
in the 19th century was that much beautiful, wonderful repertoire was
written for the orchestra in that era, but it tended to relegate
the double bass into an instrument of what I call punctuation, rhythmic
or harmonic punctuation, as opposed to true melody. It was an era
that did not exploit all the possibilities, as the
earlier era did, or many compositions today do.
BD: Are you
pleased that the repertoire for the bass is
expanding again these days?
absolutely! There are so many composers
doing so many fine compositions.
BD: When you
get a composition handed to you,
how do you decide yes, you will spend the time learning
it, or no, you will set it aside or send it to some other bass player?
JF: That’s a
tough one. If at all possible,
I try and tackle it myself, and I think I have done that with
every piece. Oftentimes there is a very personal component to
the relationship that I want to honor, as well. For example,
after the birth of our first son, Ken, there came a knock on the door,
and an envelope was dropped off. I opened it up, and there was
a beautiful lullaby for double bass and
piano written by William Ferris. How could I not work on
that? How could I not
play that? It was an absolutely beautiful piece that,
again, birthed another piece of art here.
BD: Let me
turn the question on its head a
little bit. Is there any reason that someone should write today
for the older instruments?
JF: My answer
is absolutely, and the
reason I say that is the older instruments represent a whole
spectrum of sound possibilities that simply can’t be exploited by the
instruments of today.
colors. One of my favorite authors is Stephen J. Gould, the
anthropologist at Harvard. One of his main theories is that
the world is not necessarily always progressive, and I feel
that’s certainly true in the world of music. It is
different. What is being composed today is wonderful in its
way. What was happening in 1835 was wonderful in its way, and all
the way back. But I certainly do not ascribe to the belief that
some hold, which is that what was happening in the 18th century was a
progression over what happened in the 17th, and everything just marches
in one forward direction.
BD: Yet the
antithesis of progression is not
Exactly! That’s exactly
correct. Each age has its own beauty, and the
instruments of the earlier times have a very special beauty which
deserves to be explored by people living now, both performers and
played in the bass section of a couple of
orchestras. Is that also satisfying?
JF: Yes, in
its own way. It proved not to be
ultimately satisfying for me, only because I like to be very
self-determined and creative, and develop my own visions with the
music. That’s why I love chamber music, particularly. I can
have a true strong voice, an impact on what the result is.
Orchestras that I’ve played with, both here and in Europe, have been
marvelous experiences, but I wanted more than that as well. I
find the chamber music collaborations
probably the most satisfying.
BD: Let me
ask a real easy question. What’s the
purpose of music?
JF: [Thinks for a
moment] For me it’s multilayered,
certainly. At the top it’s physical, it’s
sensuous, it’s in all of our senses, and it’s aural.
In fact one of the reasons I was really attracted to early
music is the feel of the gut strings under the hand, the mellowness
and the sound of it. So it’s
satisfying in all of those dimensions, yet it connects on another
level, a deeper
level. It connects me with other human beings — not
of us around today, but that humanity that has always been there, that
transcendent humanity of composers composing in another place and
BD: Do you
feel connected to the old performers, too?
JF: I think
so, yes, especially because another part of early music that I find so
attractive and important is to work with the music, with the editions
that were printed in
the time of the composers and the players of this early music, and
to see how they wrote down that music. Again, it’s another
connection to our humanness. Then, at its deepest level, it’s
a very spiritual activity for me. It has its
worship at the altar of music?
you’re playing the instrument, are you
simply playing this piece of wood, or does it actually become part of
you so that
it’s more your extension?
JF: I think
of it as an extension. Actually it’s like dancing with a
wonderful woman who’s a great
dancer. It’s part of you. It is something different, but it
is part of you at the same time. There’s a lot of choreography
and dance-like aspects to playing the bass, so that’s another
connection to the maker of the
bass who may have come from a different era, or the maker today who’s
BD: Does your
wife ever get jealous of the instrument?
JF: [With a
big smile] Oh, I don’t think so. She started out as a
musician herself, a wonderful violist, so I think she understands.
BD: Do you
ever get to play together?
anymore. She has not
played a viola for a long time, having given that up for three
marvelous children and a
lot of computers. [Laughs]
BD: Now you
can have your own in-house
Right. There you go.
BD: Are you
pleased with where you are at this point
in your career?
there’s always more that one wishes
one could do and could have done. That’s probably always
going to be true. At the same time, I do have a certain amount of
satisfaction of having had the privilege to explore the music of many
different periods and many different places with very wonderful
people and great musicians. I feel very privileged for that, and
in that sense, it’s very satisfying.
BD: Does it
take a very
special person to play the double bass?
JF: It’s not
for everyone. You can imagine
someone drawn to the trumpet may not be drawn to the double bass.
In an orchestral setting, it’s an instrument where you’re most noticed
if you’re doing something wrong. [Both laugh]
BD: Piano subito is the time
when the obscure orchestral player becomes soloist.
exactly, and that’s one of the
main reasons, ultimately, that orchestral playing wasn’t for me,
full-time. But that’s part of what a double bass does. It
blend and fitting into the whole, but still being extremely important,
although maybe not blatantly so. We’re a
little bit behind the scenes because
the bass, so often, at least in an orchestral setting, will set the
harmony. It’s the harmonic anchor of everything else that’s going
on, and many times it’s the rhythmic pulse of the
entire ensemble as
music has the melody on top and the harmony
on the bottom, and everything else is fill.
Yes. [Laughs] So without the bass,
everything would be truly lost. But that point may not be always
BD: Do you play standing or sitting?
JF: I play
standing. I find that gives me the
most freedom, physically, to move with the instrument. But every
bass player approaches that a little differently, and as we talked
there are many approaches, many right approaches. There are
some marvelous bass players who sit, but my preference happens to
be to stand.
BD: When you
come to a new concert venue, do you look
for a good place to stick that end pin?
Oh, yes! Just finding a place
sometimes can be a challenge, and it’s always interesting.
Some people are a little more fastidious than the bass players about
where they’ll allow this to happen.
BD: You don’t
want to put it in the middle of
an expensive Oriental rug.
so we need to be
sensitive to our surroundings in many ways.
BD: Do you
carry a little coaster?
JF: Yes, and
also I have been known to remove
my belt to put it around the end pin and fasten it to my foot, so it
won’t slip away from me in a slippery situation.
BD: I’ve seen
bass players moving their instrument on a
JF: I’ve got
a little wheel for long
walking trips between a concert hall and rehearsal place.
Sometimes that comes in really handy... another marvel of modern
technology! [Both laugh]
made three solo recordings. Do you play the same for the
microphone as you do
for the audience?
JF: It is
different. I do find in a recording
situation that it’s more difficult because there’s not a real live
audience there to react with. So for me, that’s a little more
difficult. I thrive on that interaction with audience, but both,
I think, are very important ways of performing. The
discipline of recording is extremely helpful for technique, and trying
to get it on tape the way you really want it. That’s always a
challenge. The whole world of recording a double bass
very interesting study in science in itself.
BD: Have you
ever thought of maybe putting a
little screen or solid wood behind you, just to focus the sound out?
that works very well. What we found is
that a lot of the sound of a double bass actually emanates from the
back of the instrument, that large, vibrating back. So I really
like to have a closer microphone near the F hole of the instrument up
and away in front of the instrument, and others three or four or five
feet in back of the
instrument. This is another reason why I like to stand rather
than sit, so that the back can be completely free to vibrate. I
think it’s an interesting acoustical property of the instrument.
BD: Are you
pleased with the records that have come
out so far?
JF: Oh, you
always wish you could do things
differently. So it’s the same idea as the answer that I
had before in terms of overall career. Certainly there are
things that I would like to do differently — better
— but I’ve
come to say it chronicles me at that point in time and space.
BD: I haven’t
met one musician yet that hasn’t said, “Oh, but it
could be better!” [Laughs]
yes, yes. It always can be better.
BD: Is there
such a thing as a perfect performance?
JF: I have
never achieved it.
BD: Does it
JF: Boy, I’ve
heard some performances by others where
it so moved me that I felt that came pretty darn close, if not being
there. But then it’s interesting... you go backstage and talk
to the performer, and they’re saying, “Oh, it could have been so much
better! I really wanted to do this...” [Both laugh]
So I guess it’s in the ear of the beholder
whether that phenomenon truly exists or not.
But in the end it’s all worth it.
JF: It’s all
worth it. No question.
BD: Thank you
for all the music that you’ve given us so
JF: Thank you
very much for keeping it all
going. I appreciate that.
© 1997 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded in Evanston, Illinois, on June
30, 1997. Portions were broadcast on WNIB six weeks later.
This transcription was made in 2016, and posted on this
at that time.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been
transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975
its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His
interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since
and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well
on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.
You are invited to visit his website
for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of
other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also
to call your attention to the photos and information about his
grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a
century ago. You may also send him E-Mail
with comments, questions and suggestions.