Alec Baldwin’s classical music obsession

Posted on: September 15, 2009

In the September 21 New York Magazine, Erica Orden profiles actor Alec Baldwin, visiting with him on the set of the 30 Rock television show. He is “a classical-music guy, and proud of it. It’s been fundamental to how he defines himself since the day in the early eighties when he flipped on his car radio and, as he has described it, ‘Mahler came and got me on the San Diego Freeway.’ Which is why it means so much to him that he’s now host of the New York Philharmonic’s weekly, nationally syndicated broadcast on WQXR radio. September 16, the orchestra’s opening night, is also his debut; it will be simulcast on Channel 13, too. The Philharmonic offered him the role after Baldwin daydreamed about such a gig to The New Yorker last year. … Back in his dressing room, he calls up a YouTube clip of Bernstein conducting and performing Rhapsody in Blue. ‘Oh, my God. Oh, my God. You can watch so much great stuff,’ he says of YouTube’s classical offerings. Baldwin says he hopes to ‘get out of the way of the music,’ as a host, before launching into color commentary. ‘He’s conducting them while he’s playing! And now he’s down! And now he’s up! They’re not showing enough of him.’ There’s a lull in the music, and Baldwin gets a bit sentimental. ‘Living the way I live now, being who I am now, what would be the next thing for me?’ he whispers. ‘To marry a woman in the orchestra. A woman who could play the piano for me every night. That would be heaven.’ ”

Posted September 15, 2009