50 years and 10,000 concerts worth of storytelling at its
Sant'Ambrogio played with the Boston Symphony for 9 years,
was Principal Cellist with the Casals Festival Orchestra
for 2 years, and Principal cellist with the Saint Louis
Symphony Orchestra for 37 years. A natural storyteller,
he relates the life and sometime hilarious times he's experienced
behind the scenes spanning over 50 years and 10,000 concerts.
are dozens of stories that are dramatic, poignant, funny,
and serious: his fateful day with BSO when it almost ground
to a halt; the nights he slept with rattlesnakes in the
Army; the day his career started while painting a barn.
We duck as he is attacked with a bow during a rehearsal
on stage; we watch intently as the conductor's toupee takes
flight on a high note. We are privy to the tyrant conductors
and the caring conductors, the inspiring times in a symphony
orchestra and the bittersweet times, the professional injuries
and the healings. And finally, we glimpse the possible future
of live symphonic music in the concert halls of the United
Day I Almost Destroyed the Boston Symphony and Other Stories"
is a veritable who's who of the music world. The stories
tell about the times the author spent with Charles Münch,
Pablo Casals, Yo Yo Ma, Leonard Slatkin, Itzhak Perlman,
Erich Leinsdorf, David Robertson, and dozens of other musicians
and conductors. Through all this, the music that we "hear"
is divine and inspiring-in spite of the rain, sleet, snow,
strikes, and emergencies we encounter along the way.