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Funny things that happen on on stage

A Minute with Miles
Mary Noble Ours
/
SC Public Radio

Musicians tend to tell lots of stories about funny things that have happened on stage during concerts. Often the stories are about disasters or near-disasters, and to be honest, they usually seem much funnier later on than the events themselves felt when they were actually happening. 

But one of the funniest stories I know isn’t about a disaster. It was told to me by the former second violinist of a very famous string quartet. The quartet had played a concert one night, had been up very late, and had had to make a long drive to play a concert the next night, with no time to rest. One of the pieces on the program was a contemporary work in one section of which the second violin part consisted of one note played softly and held endlessly. Well, you guessed it – while the violinist held the note, bow on the string, he fell sound asleep. And of course the funniest thing is that, because of the style of the music, nobody noticed.

A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

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Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.