[Dixielandjazz] So What's New?
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 3 08:02:11 PST 2005
Why Mozart Didn't Get Tenure
In response to your suggestion that we appoint Mr. Wolfgang Mozart to our
music faculty: The music department appreciates your interest, but the
faculty is sensitive about its prerogatives in the selection process.
While the list of works and performances the candidate has submitted is
very full, it reflects too much activity outside academia. Mr. Mozart does
not have an earned doctorate and has very little formal education and
teaching experience. There is also significant evidence of personal
instability evidenced in his resume. Would he really settle down in a
large state university like ours? Would he really be a team player?
I must voice a concern over the incidents with his former superior, the
Archbishop of Salzburg. They hardly confirm his abilities to be a good team
man and show a disturbing lack of respect for authority.
Franz Haydn's recommendation is noted, but Mr. Haydn is writing from a very
special situation. Esterhazy is a well-funded private institution quite
dissimilar from us and abler than we to accommodate non-academics, like Mr.
Haydn himself. Here we are concerned about everybody, not just the most
gifted. Furthermore, we suspect cronyism on the part of Mr. Haydn.
After Mr. Mozart's interview with the musicology faculty, they found him
sadly lacking in any real knowledge of music before Bach and Handel. If he
were to teach only composition, this might not be a serious impediment.
But would he be an effective teacher of music history?
The applied faculty were impressed with his pianism, although they thought
it was somewhat old-fashioned. That he also performed on violin and viola
seemed to us to be stretching versatility dangerously thin. We suspect a
large degree of dilletantism on his part.
The composition faculty was skeptical about his vast output. They correctly
warn us from their own experience that to receive many commissions and
performances is no guarantee of quality. The senior professor pointed out
that Mr. Mozart promotes many of these performances himself. He has never
won the support of a major foundation.
One of our faculty members was present a year ago at the premiere of, a
violin sonata. He discovered afterwards that Mr. Mozart had not written out
all the parts for the piano before he played it. This may be very well in
that world, but it sets a poor example for our students. We expect deadlines
to be met on time, and this includes all necessary paperwork.
Mr. Mozart is an entertaining man at dinner. He spoke enthusiastically about
his travels. It was perhaps significant, though, that he and the music
faculty seem to have few acquaintances in common.
One of our female faculty members was deeply offended by his bluntness. She
had to leave the room after one of his endless parade of anecdotes. This
propensity of his to excite the enmity of some is hardly conducive to the
establishment of the comity to which we aspire to maintain on our faculty,
let alone the image that we wish to project to the music community at large.
We are glad as a faculty to have met this visitor, but we cannot recommend
his appointment. Even if he were appointed, this is almost no hope of his
being granted tenure. The man simply showed no interest in going to school
to collect his doctorate. This is egotism at its zenith.
Please give our regards to Mr. Mozart when you write him. We wish him our
very best for a successful career. All are agreed, though, that he cannot
fulfill the needs of this department. We wish to recommend the appointment
of Antonio Salieri, a musician of the highest ideals and probity that
accurately reflect the aims and values that we espouse. We would be eager
to welcome such a musician and person to our faculty.
The Chair and Faculty of the Department of Music
P.S. Some good news. Our senior professor of composition tells me there is
now a very good chance that a movement of his concerto will have its
premiere within two years. You will remember that his work was commissioned
by a foundation and won first prize nine years ago.
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