Julius Baker: A Tribute
Written by Sandra Ragusa
Designed by Hilary Kratovil
Published by Oxford Recording Company
Softcover book; 171 pages
Preface – Sandra Ragusa:
Each of us has a story. Julius Baker's is quite remarkable. As an American flutist, he demonstrated uncommon musicianship, technique, and tone in a way that made us think it was common. Those of us priviledged to study with him and understand his method have a bond that can only be understood by us. I am grateful to be one of those.
Our relationship began in Monterey, California at one of those famous classes and grew to a mutual trust that led to this work. Over the years, I have put his music in order and on a database. I have put his photos in albums. I have produced CDs with him. I have made shelves, held tools while fixing the tractor, plugged in electronic equipment, and kibitzed on the couch with him. Most importantly, I was entrusted to put in order the material from which most of this book is based. Julius saved everything.
This biography is not an ordinary biography because Julius wouldn't allow it. It is a biography, as he wanted it. He was specific about what to include. He did not want an analysis of his playing, teaching, or psyche. That speaks for itself and the people who are interviewed tell the story eloquently.
This book was researched using the Julius Baker archives and the New York Times, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Philadelhia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Phillharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Archives along with private collections. Also used were collections from The Curtis Institute of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, and The Juilliard School. Although, the work cannot claim to be a definitive life and times, I hope it gives each reader a glimpse at the incredible life of Julius Baker.