The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Cellist Joel Krosnick will retire from the Juilliard String Quartet and is one more example of how musicians love their careers and how teacher-performers deserve more respect. | June 2, 2015

By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear knows a lot of musicians.

And he considers them among the most privileged of people and workers.

That’s because he has never met a musician who regretted being a musician, even if they don’t get the job they want or earn as much as they need.

Musicians are happy, The Ear thinks, because they speak a higher language and never get tired of it.

We who listen are envious of those who play.

The latest example of it comes in a wonderful interview with cellist Joel Krosnick (below) that appeared on the Deceptive Cadence blog done by NPR (National Public Radio).

Joel Kroskick1

Krosnick is the longtime cellist of the legendary Juilliard String Quartet (below). He never thought he would retire, but now, after 42 years, he says he will indeed retire at the end of the 2015-16 season, although he will continue to teach at the Juilliard School.

Getting old, he explains, means that he can do one full-time career but no longer two. That should bring new respect to teacher-performers who are too often portrayed more as failed performers who have to teach by default.

Juilliard String Quartet copy

Read or listen to the interview for yourself and see what I mean.

And here, in a YouTube video at the bottom, is a slow movement from one of the late “Prussian” Quartets that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed for the King of Prussia, who played the cello quite well. So Mozart gave the work a prominent role to the cello.


  1. As someone who gets up,starts doing music until my brain turns off, and does it all over again the next day, I can testify to what a privilege it is. My parents and spouse have provided me with an environment where that can happen, and I will always be grateful. MBB

    Comment by 88melter — June 2, 2015 @ 8:55 am

  2. Claus Adam was the cellist of the Juilliard Quartet when it originated.

    Sent from my iPad

    Comment by jadipiaz — June 2, 2015 @ 6:17 am

    • I apologize for the error. Thank you for correcting me. I will fix it at once.

      Comment by welltemperedear — June 2, 2015 @ 6:51 am

  3. I heard Joel Krosnick in Grand Forks, ND, while he was touring from his Iowa base. The next morning I recognized him at a farm store where he was purchasing rope to tie a car trunk that would not stay shut, I think as a result of a minor fender bender. He was a great performer even then!

    Comment by Craig — June 2, 2015 @ 12:19 am

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