Life in a Violin Case

by Alexander Bloch

[. . .] I continued to make money, and finally, bit by bit, accumulated enough to go abroad.  The family being once more solvent, and my help no longer necessary, I resigned from my position and, feeling like a man released from jail, sailed for Europe.  I stayed four years, worked harder than I had ever dreamed of working before and enjoyed every minute of it.

“Enjoyed” is too mild a word.  I walked on air.  I really lived.  I was a free man and I was doing what I loved to do and what I was meant to do.

If I had stayed in business I might be a comparatively wealthy man today, but I do not believe I would have made a success of living. [. . .]

When I broke away from business it was against the advice of practically all my friends and family.  So conditioned are most of us to the association of success with money that the thought of giving up a good salary for an idea seemed little short of insane.  If so, all I can say is “Gee, it’s great to be crazy.”

Money is a wonderful thing, but it is possible to pay too high a price for it.

Alexander Bloch is conductor of the Florida West Coast Symphony Orchestra.  Before devoting himself to conducting, he had wide and varied experiences in othe fields of music.  He went to Russia to study with Leopold Auer and stayed to become concert master of a Russian symphony orchestra—probably the only American who has held such a position.  He has written works for violin, composed operettas and songs, and held college and conservatory posts.

[. . .] He states that music is his only hobby.  When reminded that music is his profession, and asked again to name a hobby, he replies, “More music.”

Morgan, Edward P.  (Catalogued under Murrow’s name.)  This I Believe: the living philosophies of one hundred thoughtful men and women from all walks of life—as written for and with a foreword by Edward R. Murrow.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 1952.  Pages 9 & 10.

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