Getting In

By SAMBUDDHA CHATTOPADHYAY   When I was twelve, I saw a little Asian girl in a pink dress play Meditation from Massenet’s Thais. It was the most beautiful thing. As the melody rose and fell like the crests and troughs of an ocean wave, I felt mesmerized. After the music stopped, a hush fell over the crowd that had gathered around the screen. Suddenly, an imperial voice, a voice full of authority, sounded out of the crowd. “Well, that sounded nice. But it felt fake. She played the right notes in the right places, but there’s clearly no passion there. …

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