Yes, Nicholas Slonimsky told a wonderful story.
The New York Philarmonic had two rehearsals with Ionization before Mr.
Slonimsky realized this group of "cavemen," not to be confused with the excellent
skills and intentions of today's New York Philharmonic, could not play the
As a result, all the important voices of new music in NYC created an
orchestra of unpitched percussionists. Henry Cowell played piano while Slonimsky
conducted. Wallingford Riegger played, as did Paul Creston, William Schumann, and
The press called them the Wild Anarchists of Music. The players performed
for free and the audience was admitted at no cost. It was in a hall once
adjacent to Carnegie seating 100-200 persons. Aaron Copland was in the audience: A
Romantic Era in Modern Music had begun.
The New York Philharmonic would insist on being paid, even though they didn't
play and a new orchestra had volunteered to perform it. Charles Ives paid
these expenses, as well presumably, the cost of the hall, and any other sundry
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