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Playing for Pennies

By Judith Kogan

Joseph Silverstein, concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and one of the most prominent orchestral musicians in the world, said last night he is finding it increasingly difficult--and increasingly necessary--to discourage students from jumping into the frustrating world of the professional performer..

Speaking on the role of "the artist" as part of the Cambridge Forum Series on professional lives, Silverstein blamed the generally unpromising future for the aspiring musicians on commercial television, the necessity of working through a nonmusical hierarchy unsympathetic to the budding musicians' needs, and the lack of funds given to artists by the federal government.

In stating his point, Silverstein quoted a startling figure: "If the government eliminated five miles of interstate highway and divided that money among the six major U.S. orchestras, they'd never have to charge admission to one of those orchestra's concerts ever again."

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