Buddy Rich The late Buddy Rich is well known as an old school big band drummer. His wit won for him many appearances on the Johnny Carson show where the public heard only sanitized stories about him. For example, when he was being prepped for surgery he was asked if he was allergic to anything. He replied, “Yes, Country and Western music!”

Thanks to the intertubes Buddy is also now known as a jerk. Someone on the band bus had a portable tape recorder running during one of his trademark rants. His true nature is shown online in the Four Act “passion play” My Buddy. It makes for interesting listening.

Anshel Brusilow was the orchestra conductor at the University of North Texas (formerly known as North Texas State University) where I earned my doctorate. After a career as a violinist – he was the concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Ormandy – he had settled in the Dallas area and conducted the Dallas Symphony for a while.

Anshel Brusilow

2010 photo of Brusilow

For now he conducts the Richardson Symphony Orchestra. It is a part time orchestra just north of Dallas that gives a handful of performances a year.

Update

He is no longer their conductor.

As is the case with many regional orchestras, the recession has hit them hard. Unlike other regional orchestras, they make the musicians wait for quite a long time to be paid. This was an unremarkable (and unfortunately common) labor dispute until Brusilow had his Buddy Rich moment.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Professional Musicians Association issued a press release (PDF) politely detailing the problem. At a rehearsal soon after this release, Brusilow started berating the players – and one in particular – over this dispute. This led to that RPO member being “ousted” (PDF). Unfortunately for Brusilow, someone turned on their cell phone recorder to catch his tirade which is now graciously hosted at the DFW PMA website.

Abuseilow's tirade

Update

It looks like the audio file has disappeared from the net. Probably lawyers. Anyone have a copy? The press releases are also MIA.

Toscanini is long dead.

In The Maestro Myth,

Norman Lebrecht relates that “He was brutal to orchestras and created a cult of brutality that other conductors copied as a token of their authority in an authoritarian era.” The overbearing tyrannical style for which Toscanini was famous simply will not be accepted today. Brusilow needs to take note.