History is full of stories of great musicians with financial struggles – Beethoven, Schubert, even Mozart was said to have been buried in a pauper’s grave. The image of the “starving artist” tries to glorify the idea that great musicians are supposed to sacrifice everything in pursuit of their art and not expect any commercial gain, much less “stain” themselves with mundane business pursuits. But we forget that before these great musicians of the past were immortalized for their music, they too had to face the same career struggles as today’s musicians to find work, make money, and get recognized. And then there are the amazing success stories of musicians like soprano Jenny Lind, the 19th century “Sweedish Nightingale”, who earned an astonishing $9 million from her tour of North America. Musicologist Mark Samples has been studying the careers of the great musicians of the past, and has some fascinating takeaways for today’s musicians to help them break out of the “starving artist” mindset and show how both artistic and financial success don’t need to be mutually exclusive.
Mark’s Website: http://www.mark-samples.com/