Mozart in the Jungle
Now a major Amazon.com TV series starring Gabriel Garcia Bernal.
From her debut recital at Carnegie Hall to performing with the orchestras of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, oboist Blair Tindall has been playing classical music professionally for over twenty-five years. She’s also lived the secret life of musicians who survive hand to mouth, trading sex and drugs for low-paying gigs and the promise of winning a rare symphony position or a lucrative solo recording contract. In Mozart in the Jungle, Tindall describes her graduation from the North Carolina School of the Arts to the backbiting New York classical music scene, a world where Tindall and her fellow classical musicians often play drunk, high, or hopelessly hung-over, live in decrepit apartments, and perform in hazardous conditions. (In the cramped confines of a Broadway pit, the decibel level of one instrument is equal to the sound of a chain saw.)
Mozart in the Jungle offers a stark contrast between the rarefied experiences of overpaid classical musician superstars and those of the working-class musicians. For lovers of classical music, Mozart in the Jungle is the first true, behind-the-scenes look at what goes on backstage and in the Broadway pit.
This is the most candid and unsparing account of orchestral life ever to see print… Blair Tindall tells it how it is * Norman Lebrecht * Just because they dress up and play expensive instruments, classical musicians are assumed to behave with chaste propriety. Meet blonde chick in a black frock Blair Tindall, oboist and orchestra muso. Her life in the pits of Broadway, blowing for Miss Saigon and Les Mis, when not gigging at Carnegie Hall or recording for movies, was a dance macabre of performance and party, fuelled by coke, alcohol and promiscuity. — Iain Finlayson * The Times * An hilarious expose of the American musical world. If you want to know the sexual techniques of different orchestral sections, this is the book for you – an X-rated version of Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra … Tindall’s book is a serious attempt to take the lid off a world in which the genius in tails is underpaid, undervalued and exploited. Parents of musical children should read it carefully. — Kate Saunders * Sunday Times * A courageous and often entertaining insight into an alien world … riveting stuff … Rest assured that Mozart’s music will never sound the same to you again. — Alexander Waugh * Mail on Sunday * Scathing . . . Its scandalous peek behind the decorous facade of classical music is bound to cause shock waves. — Michael Shelden * Daily Telegraph * A frank, moving and important work… a poignant and fascinating memoir… Many fundamental questions are raised here concerning the role of music and the arts in society. For anybody who cares about the answers, this is an indispensable book. — Clemency Burton-Hill * New Statesman * Candid and intriguing. * Observer Music Monthly * Tindall’s book offers a devastating indictment of the sordid ethics of American orchestral life … her engagingly written memoir offers a rare insight into an unpleasant, cloistered world. — Jeremy Nicholas * Classic FM Magazine * Her description of life in the famous Allendale building . . . is delightful, as are her portraits of fellow musicians and her stories of life in the pit. — Susan Salter Reynolds * Los Angeles Times * A cautionary tale from the trenches . . . An unsparing glimpse into that world of small triumphs, easy frustrations and surprising excess, dispensing dirty little secrets usually reserved for late-night bar talk and backstage gossip. . . . Tindall succeeds at a more ambitious goal: presenting a surprisingly through analysis and scathing critique of the classical music business. . . . This is a fascinating examination of a peculiar culture that provides so much joy while breaking so many hearts. — Anya Grundmann * Newsday *