Music: Ruffs and Drags

When the retirement of Timpanist Saul Goodman was announced by the New York Philharmonic, Conductor Pierre Boulez gave him a watch. That was like giving Soprano Birgit Nilsson a pitch pipe. As head of the Philharmonic's percussion section, Goodman has been keeping time for the orchestra for 46 years. His rolls, ruffs and drags were as familiar and indispensable to Mengelberg and Toscanini in their day as to Bernstein and Boulez in theirs. Goodman's departure this week will terminate one of the longest tenures in the history of American symphonic life. As Philharmonic...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!