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Classical Notes

Gustav Mahler's Bacon Number

Posted at 12:00 AM on July 8, 2008 by John Birge (3 Comments)
Filed under: The blog

Today is actor Kevin Bacon's 50th birthday.

Bacon is the subject of the trivia game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." The premise: due to his prolific screen career, any Hollywood actor can be linked to another in six steps or less. A person's number of degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon is that person's "Bacon Number".

Leonard Bernstein's Bacon Number is 2: Bacon's co-star in "Footloose" was Lori Singer, a Juilliard-trained cellist who knew Bernstein.

Leopold Stokowski's Bacon Number is 3: Lori Singer's father was conductor Jacques Singer, who was a protege of Stokowski.

Arturo Toscanini's Bacon Number is also 3: Lori Singer studied with Leonard Rose, who was hired by Toscanini to play in the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

Gustav Mahler's Bacon Number is 4: Leonard Rose was a friend of conductor Bruno Walter, who was a friend of Mahler's.

Yo Yo Ma's Bacon Number is 2: He and Lori Singer both studied with Leonard Rose.

Joshua Bell's Bacon Number is 3: His friend John Corigliano (who composed "The Red Violin Concerto" for Bell) taught orchestration to Michael Bacon, who is Kevin's big brother (Michael and Kevin performed together as "The Bacon Brothers").

Any others we should add to the list? What's your Bacon Number?

You might want to consult The Oracle of Bacon! (props to Fred Child for the tip!)

Comments (3)

I, personally, am a mere two degrees from Kevin Bacon, thanks to a tiny role in the Twin Cities-made film Sugar & Spice from several years back. (Mena Suvari was also in it, and she was in Beauty Shop with KB in 2005.)

My entire scene can be found in the last 5 seconds of the trailer.

Posted by Gillian Martin | July 8, 2008 1:45 AM

Cellist, Leonard Rose did not play in the NBC Symphony Orchestra for Arturo Toscanini. It was Rose's cousin, Frank Miller, that was the NBC principal cellist for several years, and later with Chicago. Miller did give his cousin cello lessons.

Posted by 1st Chair | July 8, 2008 10:38 AM

According the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Leonard Rose "studied with his cousin Frank Miller, principal cellist of the NBC SO. He won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute...he then left to become assistant principal cellist of the NBC SO under Toscanini." -jb

Posted by John Birge | July 8, 2008 11:02 AM