Sam Denov's Books Blog

Welcome to my website!

My new book, Boom and Crash Musician: A Percussive Memoir, is getting rave reviews on Amazon, both in the U.S. and the U.K.  Click on the URL below to read the reviews and order my book.
My plan is to introduce the book first to percussionists, then to all classical musicians, and finally to the general public.  The value of reading a biography, because it is based on true life rather than fiction, is to learn things about one's own life that is of value to the reader.

Everyone's life is unique and interesting, and can be exceptional in many ways.  When I heard a musical instrument played for the first time, for instance, it was a revelation to me.  It created a desire to learn more about this art that fascinated me.  At times, it crowded out other things that were also important, but I was obcessed!

In my desire to gain experience performing music, I sought out opportunities to perform with as many musical groups as I could.  In the process, I networked with many others, some of whom opened new opportunities for me.

There has been some debate lately over the matter of auditions.  As you will read in my book, I never auditioned for any of the positions I held in the three symphony orchestras I performed with.  I was hired solely on the recommendation of others.  In addition to the memberships I had in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony and San Antonio Symphony, I performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony and the Seattle Symphony.

Years ago, because conductors held private auditions at which there may have been some discrimination because of gender, age or race, it was decided to hold blind auditions behind a screen.  However, because such discrimination has now faded into history, screens are no longer necessary.  Eventually, I believe the blind auditions will be eliminated because they are very stressful and not always reliable.   How an applicant performs in the orchestra and what colleagues think of his or her playing, I believe, is far more important than how such individual performed in a stressful, competitive, audition.  An applcant may have nerves of steel, but poor musicianship and the inabilty to work with others.

It has happened that winners of an audition were dismissed after their probation in the orchestra.  So obviously, auditions behind a screen are not always a perfect prediction of how that individual may perform with their orchestral colleagues! 

How to communicate with me.

If you need or want to get in touch with me, send an e-mail to the following address:  and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.