What’s in a name?

Richard told me.” Or, “Martha thinks so.”

The inspeak of the classical music anointed? A mark of self-importance, of access, or just an acknowledgement of exactly how the celebrated wish to be addressed?

Unusual names can serve more easily. “Just ask La Monte.” And beyond, “Milton thought so,” there are histories and associations. Alexis Weissenberg would be “Siggy” Weissenberg. For some, Susan Wadsworth remained “Susan Popkin.”

And doesn’t the New York Times style sheet adopt some version of this nomenocracy when a dead musician can be Stravinsky, but a living one is Mr. Glass?

MTT is Michael TT of course. For the foreseeable future, Lenny is Lenny.

And as there are temporalisms — “Rubinstein” — there are regionalisms. Moving from individuals to orchestras (orchestras are people too?), in most of the Northeast we know that the BSO is in Boston, but in Baltimore that acro has alternate signification.

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