Learn my name

Stokowski’s ability to inspire musicians was sometimes balanced by the ability to turn them off.  Saidenberg altered me to a remarkable violinist who quit the Philadelphia Orchestra and went on to become America’s greatest authority on constitutional law.  “Raoul Berger was a wonderful violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra.  One day at rehearsal, Stoki stopped the orchestra and pointed to him, shouting, ‘You, what’s your name?’ The reply came in a small voice, ‘Berger – Raoul Berger, sir.’  ‘Well, play in tune’ said Stoki. The next day in precisely the same spot the same incident took place.  The third day in precisely the same place the incident was repeated.  Berger couldn’t stand it any longer and, turning on Stoki, said, ‘On Monday you asked me my name.  On Tuesday you asked me my name.  Now it is Wednesday, and you’re still asking my name.  What’s wrong with memory?  Haven’t you learned it yet?’ Stoki fired him.”

Chasins, Abram (1979) Leopold Stokowski: A Profile.  London: Robert Hale, p.109.