Music and Vision homepage Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.

The Bottom Line

Robert Meyer

ISBN: 9 781412 089708


Number of pages: xii+238 pages
Chapters: 20
© 2008 Robert Meyer
Reviewer: Howard Smith
Review of The Bottom Line published on 12 October 2016

Part One

1 Early days. I pick up the bass
2 All the King's Men. Some bloody fighting. I escape from Dunkirk
3 Back in 'Civvy Street'. Eugene Cruft. The Carl Rosa Opera Company. I am made an ARCM. Asked to play principal bass in the City of Birmingham Orchestra. The London Philharmonic invites me to play with them.
4 The LPO Tour to France and Belgium. I am offered a contract with the LPO. Some conductors and 'characters'
5 Mixed feelings on leaving the LPO. I am offered the job of solo bass in Benjamin Britten's English Opera Group. I meet my future wife at Glyndebourne. Behind the scenes
6 Beginning to make a freelance connection. Some conductors. The London scene
7 The big upheaval in the London Symphony Orchestra. Joseph Krips leaves under a cloud. Ernest Fleischman, a good orchestral manager, takes over
8 The first Aldeburgh Festival. Conversations with Britten. The Proms. EOG Scandinavian Tour. "Busman's Holiday" in Scotland
9 The Coronation
10 I am invited to join the Philharmonia Orchestra. Touring experiences. Walter Legge, von Karajan and the big row onstage in Baltimore
11 The Philharmonia Orchestra continued. Conductors and soloists. Dennis Brain. Legge disbands the Philharmonia but it is resuscitated under Dr Otto Klemperer. I decide to seek fresh fields to conquer.
12 After the Philharmonia, back to freelancing and I later join the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Some conductors, including Stravinsky.
13 Life after the BBC Symphony Orchestra. I become too big for my boots. I am booked as principal bass for the New Opera Company, the Early Verdi Society and the Handel Opera Society. The Philomusica. More ballets. Principal bass for the San Carlo Opera. Tragedy at Sadlers Wells. I am asked to play the season with them as principal bass
14 The Moscow Chamber Orchestra and miscellaneous thoughts
15 Alec Sherman and Gina Bachauer. Rozhdestvensky. The Pro Arte Orchestra. Gary Karr. A one night stand in Venice. Sir David Willcox. The LSO World Tour. I play in Budapest and meet the famous bassist, Lajos Montag. I am invited to become principal double bass of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Photo inserts

Part Two

16 Vancouver, BC, Canada. I have mixed feelings. I am invited to be principal bass of the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra by its conductor, John Avison
17 Vancouver continued. The Vancouver Symphony Chamber Players' Tour. I have a row with Arthur Fiedler. Sir Arthur Bliss. I am asked to be principal bass of the Vancouver Opera. Richard Boynge [sic] and Joan Sutherland. I am invited to teach the double bass at the University of British Columbia. I put on a Mini-Festival

Part Three

18 Touring the True North, Strong and Freezing. I give up playing the bass forever (or so I thought). Robert Meyer Artists Management Ltd. The Victoria Conservatory of Music. Richmond Community Music School. President of Richmond BC Arts Council. I am involved in the building of a new theatre and make plans for a new arts centre. Chinese brush painting. Family tragedy
19 Starting a new life in Sooke, British Columbia, Canada. I take up the bass again. Nautical frolics. Sooke Concert Society. Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra. The Victoria Symphony. The Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra
20 Closing thoughts

Illustration list


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