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Once when I
played very badly,
he slapped my
left hand off of
and told me
When I was discharged from the Air Force, I returned to Evanston and took some preparatory lessons and theoretical studies at the Evanston Conservatory to prepare me for an audition at the then Chicago Conservatory College. I passed my audition to get into the Conservatory where with my other subjects including piano studies, I was given Mr.Rudolf Fahsbender, from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as my instructor for the contrabass. I still had my Epiphone plywood bass that I had bought in Biloxi. Rudolf Fahsbender was a very thorough teacher from the old German school of teaching. Hand positioning, posture with the instrument, stroke and most importantly tone and the control of the tone quality. Once when I played very badly, he slapped my left hand off of the instrument and told me "never to approach the instrument like that again." I understand today just what he meant. He taught me all of my Simandl Studies, including the Gradus ad Parnassum, Orchestral Excerpts and 30 Etudes as well as the sonatas of Marcello, Dragonetti, Koussevitsky, Handel and Bottessini Concerto (in A-minor) I also was playing in the school orchestra which gave me the opportunity to hear and learn how 60 people can become one mind towards the goal of making music.
will always keep the souvenir of my Recital. I played the Marcello Sonata
in G and after I finished, Rudolf Fahsbender and the Dean of Students
both gave me a kiss and real musicians know what that means; WOW !