R.C.Do you remember your first attendance at a concert?
I.S.My first experience of a public musical performance was at the Mariinsky theater in Saint Petersburg. My impressions of it are mixed with what I have been told, of course, but as a child of seven or eight I was taken to see A Life for the Tsar. We were given one of the official loges, and I remember that it was adorned with gilt "winged amours." The spectacle of the theater itself and of the audience bewildered me, and my mother said later that, as I watched the stage, carried away by the sound of the orchestra (perhaps the greatest thrill of my life was the sound of that first orchestra), I asked her, as in Tolstoy, "Which one is the theater?" I remember also that Napravnik conducted the opera in white gloves.
The first concert of which I have any recollection was the occasion of a première of a symphony by Glazunov. I was nine or ten years old and at this time Glazunov was the heralded new composer. He was gifted with extraordinary powers of ear and memory, but it was going too far to assume from that that he must be a new Mozart; the sixteen-year old