what would happen if one of the best violinists in the world performed incognito in a subway station during rush-hour?

Discussion between Leonard Slatkin (musical director of the National Symphony Orchestra) and Gene Weingarten ( Washington Post Writer )

  • LS : Let's assume that he is not recognized and just taken for granted as a street musician . . . Still, I don't think that if he's really good, he's going to go unnoticed. He'd get a larger audience in Europe . . . but, okay, out of 1,000 people, my guess is there might be 35 or 40 who will recognize the quality for what it is. Maybe 75 to 100 will stop and spend some time listening."
  • GW : So, a crowd would gather?
  • LS : Oh, yes.
  • GW : And how much will he make?
  • LS : About $150.
  • GW : Thanks, Maestro. As it happens, this is not hypothetical. It really happened.
  • LS : How'd I do?
  • GW : We'll tell you in a minute.
  • LS : Well, who was the musician?
  • GW : Joshua Bell
  • LS : NO!!!