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Tchaikovsky, Conductor

"Tchaikovsky wanted to study with

[Anton Rubinstein], and when he was 22, gave up what could have been a lifetime sinecure at the Ministry of Justice to enroll in the Conservatory. His coursework, unfortunately, involved not only composition, but conducting. The latter was a disaster, since he developed the bizarre belief that his head was about to roll off when he conducted. He attempted to hold it on by clutching his chin with his left hand, all while leading the orchestra. The audience, needless to say, was puzzled..."

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