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Why Mozart Didn't get Tenure

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  • TeriNoelTowe@aol.com
    With copious thanks to Stewart W! In a message dated 12/12/2005 2:37:42 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... Teri Noel Towe Of Counsel Ganz & Hollinger, P. C. 1394
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 12, 2005
      With copious thanks to Stewart W!

      In a message dated 12/12/2005 2:37:42 PM Eastern Standard Time, SWarkow@... writes:

      Why Mozart Didn't Get  Tenure

      Dear Dean:

      This is in response  to your suggestion  that we appoint Mr. Wolfgang
      Mozart to our music faculty. The  music  department appreciates your  
      interest, but the  faculty is sensitive  about  its prerogatives in the
      selection of new  colleagues.

      While the list of  works and performances the candidate  has submitted
      is very full, it reflects too much activity outside academia.  Mr.
      Mozart does not have an earned doctorate and  has very little  formal
      education and teaching experience. There is also  significant  evidence
      of personal instability evidenced in his resume. Would he   really
      settle down in a large state university like ours? Would he really be 
      a team player?

      I must voice a concern over the incidents with his  former  superior,
      the Archbishop of Salzburg. They hardly confirm  his abilities to be a 
      good team man and show a disturbing lack of  respect for authority.

      Franz  Haydn's letter of recommendation is  noted, but Mr. Haydn is
      writing from a very special situation. Esterhazy is  a well-funded
      private institution  quite  dissimilar from us  and abler than we to
      accommodate non-academics, like Mr. Haydn himself. Here  we are
      concerned about everybody, not just the most  gifted. Furthermore, we
      suspect cronyism on the part of Mr.  Haydn.

      After Mr. Mozart's interview with the musicology faculty, they  found
      him sadly lacking in  any real knowledge of music before Bach and 
      Handel. If he were  to teach only  composition, this might not be  a
      serious impediment. But would  he be an  effective teacher of  music

      The appl ied faculty were impressed  with his  pianism, although they
      thought it was somewhat old-fashioned. That he   also performed on
      violin and viola seemed to us to be stretching  versatility dangerously
      thin. We suspect a large degree of dilletantism  on his part.

      The composition faculty was skeptical about his vast output.  They 
      correctly warn us from their own experience that to receive many 
      commissions and performances is no guarantee of quality. The senior 
      professor pointed out that  Mr.  Mozart promotes many of these 
      performances himself. He has never won the
      support of a major  foundation.

      One of our faculty members was present a  year ago at  the premiere of,
      I believe, a violin sonata. He discovered  afterwards  that Mr. Mozart
      had not written out all the parts for the piano before he  played it.
      This may be very well in that world, but it sets a  poor example for our
      students. We expect deadlines to be met on time,  and this  includes all
      necessary paperwork.

      It must be admitted  that Mr. Mozart is an entertaining man at dinner.
      He spoke enthusiastically  about his travels. It  was perhaps
      significant, though,  that he  and the music faculty seem to have few 
      acquaintances in  common.

      One of our female faculty members was deeply offended by his  bluntness.
      She even had to leave the room after one of his  endless  parade of
      anecdotes. This propensity of his to excite the enmity of  some  is
      hardly conducive to the establishment of the comity to which  we aspire
      to  maintain on our faculty, let alone the image that we  wish to project to the community at large.

      We are glad as a faculty to  have had the chance to  meet this visitor,
      but we cannot recommend  his appointment. Even if he were appointed,
      this is almost no hope of  his being granted tenure. The man
      simply showed no interest in going to  school to collect his doctorate.
      This is egotism at its  zenith.

      Please give our regards to Mr. Mozart when you write him.   We wish him
      our very best for a successful career. All are agreed, though,  that  he
      cannot fulfill the needs of this department. We wish to  recommend the 
      appointment of Antonio Salieri, a musician of the  highest ideals and
      probity that accurately reflect the aims and values that  we espouse.
      We would be eager  to welcome such a musician and person to  our

      Sincerely  yours,

      The Chair and  Faculty of the Department of  Music

      P.S. Some good news. Our senior  professor of composition tells  me
      there is now a very good chance that  a movement of his concerto will
      have its premiere within two years. You will  remember that his work was
      commissioned by a foundation and won first prize  nine years ago.

      Teri Noel Towe

      Of Counsel

      Ganz & Hollinger, P. C.

      1394 Third Avenue
      New York, NY 10021-0404 USA
      212-517-5500 (voice)
      212-772-2216 (telefax)

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