When Sam Denov was engaged as a Percussionist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1954, he had no idea what he was getting into. Becoming a member of this orchestra was the realization of a life-long ambition. But now, he entered a world unlike any other he had ever known. Even though he had been a member of two other orchestras, being in the Chicago Symphony was certainly not what he expected. This true story lays bare the inner workings of a great orchestra ruled by a despot who had total control over his musicians and actually took sadistic pleasure in tormenting them. It was also a situation where there was nowhere to turn for help.
How Denov inspired the musicians to seize control of their own destinies and eventually reclaim their rights as artists is an inspiring story unlike any other you have ever read. Changing forever the profession of symphony musicians in the United States, this story is peopled with colorful characters such as Fritz Reiner, Sir Georg Solti, Jimmy Petrillo, Artur Rubenstein and many others. After reading this book, you may never listen to a great orchestral concert in quite the same way again.