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Toscanini

The great Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini was legendary for his fits of rage. The librarian of one of Toscanini’s orchestras was particularly vexed by the maestro’s habit of throwing valuable musical scores at the musicians when angry. Watching closely, the librarian observed that Toscanini’s first act when enraged was to take his baton in both hands and try to break it. If the baton snapped, Toscanini usually calmed down and rehearsal continued. If the baton did not break, he began hurling scores.

The librarian’s solution? He made sure the conductor had a generous supply of flimsy batons on hand for rehearsal!

Today in the Word, February, 1991, p. 22