Karen Schnackenberg of the Dallas Symphony has been a contributor to Polyphonic for many years. I’d like to pay tribute to her in this Editor’s Choice blog post.
The article I’m calling attention to was about librarians as copyists, and included some comments from my own librarian in the Hartford Symphony, Ron Krentzman. When should a librarian be called upon to be a copyist for the orchestra’s music? Is hand-copied music inferior to what can be produced digitally with Finale or Sibelius?
I love this quote, provided by Karen: “One of the favorite phrases of our colleague Larry Tarlow, Principal Librarian of the New York Philharmonic, is, ‘The computer has turned a bad copyist with bad handwriting into a bad copyist with good handwriting.’ ”
Polyphonic has many other articles about the orchestra librarian. Try a few of these:
Who Is That Orchestra Librarian, by Karen Schnackenberg
Errata and the Orchestra Librarian by Clinton Neweg and Jennifer Johnson
Training to Become an Orchestra Librarian by Karen Schnackenberg
A Glance Into the World of a Music Festival Orchestra Librarian by Melissa Rogers
In most orchestras, your librarian is part of your collective bargaining unit. S/he is critical to your ability to function as an orchestral musician.
Get to know your librarian, appreciate what s/he does for you, and thank her/him for the enormous number of hours s/he puts in on your behalf. I hope these articles help to give a perspective on the amazing professionalism our orchestra librarians possess, and help make you realize how much we all benefit from their expertise.