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Can you name some famous classical musicians that are mostly self taught.?

I m trying to find examples of self taught classical musicians, so that I can show someone that thinking that money for music school is a requirement for a classical musician is wrong.

There must be examples of a lot of people that made it despite financial dificulties.

8 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Philip Glass went to Juilliard--that hardly classifies as "self-taught".

    Even Richter was hardly "self-taught"--if you read that Wikipedia article, he basically was surrounded by musicians and music teachers (including his father) from an early age, had some "on the job" training at the Odessa Opera, and privately studied with a great piano teacher at the Moscow Conservatory. You can't read too much into a quote where the teacher claims he taught Richter "almost nothing", but that may be just a hyberbolic expression acknowledging his student's talent and musical instinct.

    That's very different from the proudly proclaimed "self-taught" musicans who post videos on Youtube and either can only play pieces they hear others play first (because they can't read music or read only "letter notes").

    I'm sure there are probably many musicians who are kind of crossover types, or those who may compose other types of orchestral or instrumental music, but that SOME people may still call them

    classical musicians" because they write orchestral or instrumental music. Like certain soundtrack composers--Hans Zimmer, for one. Even he had SOME basic music lessons as a child, but he also relies heavily on many collaborators to create his many famous soundtracks. These collaborators often don't get full credit for the amount of work they actually did on a "Hans Zimmer score", which has

    resulted in some controversial decisions by the Academy Awards to disqualify some soundtracks.

    He started his professional career as a member of some new wave bands playing keyboards and synthesizers.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Famous Classical Musicians

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    LOL. Self-taught classical musician. No. There aren't any. It's not like punk rock. Schooling is ABSOLUTELY a requirement for a classical musician. Even people with perfect pitch require years and years of training, study & apprenticeship to learn the various concepts, and the language of music theory itself. People don't pick it up instinctively, without ever having been trained in it before.

    During the Classical-era, musicians had wealthy patrons who paid for their apprenticeships with accomplished composers. Kings, bishops and aristocrats bankrolled composers in return for compositions that would glorify them.

    Mozart is often cited as self-taught, but he wasn't. His father was a composer who began teaching his children at a very early age (Mozart began learning as early as 3 years old). He was then hired as a court musician for the Prince/Archbishop of Salzburg, Hieronymus Colloredo, where he continued to hone his craft. And a young Beethoven famously stayed in Vienna for 2 or 3 weeks in hopes of winning an apprenticeship with Mozart (he didn't).

    But that's how it worked before high-priced music schools & universities came about. Classical composers mentored each other, and were bankrolled by some of the wealthiest people in the world at the time.

  • bka
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Not really...

    Money might not be the issue, talented players can often get scholarships and benefactors... But realistically you do need training... The tradition is built on generations of players learning from and adding to previous generations developments. To be self taught means starting from scratch without the benefit of what others have learned before you. Its also a collaborative profession. You learn from your colleagues as well... It doesn't work to keep to yourself.

    If someone did teach themselves, they would come up with different ways of doing things, so they would not sound classical.

  • Dave U
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    It's very unusual. There have been a few composers who were pretty much self taught, but the only really successful performer I can think of is Sviatoslav Richter, arguably one of the greatest ever pianists. He did receive some basic music tuition but largely taught himself the piano. You can read more about him here

  • ?
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    There probably are but if they have made it now they will have started at least 20 years ago and times have changed since then. There are fewer opportunities now and the standards of playing required to get them have risen so it is now vital that someone goes to music school. You also need the networking.

  • Despite financial difficulties, even if it meant living in a box they would have received instruction. Anyone can learn notes, it's learning about the technique of being able to play well, and the _music_ also.

  • 6 years ago

    Philip Glass comes to mind.

    ... but then it appears he's only ever written one thing over and over and over again.

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