We should pause to deconstruct the word amateur. "A century ago," writes DJ Taylor in his recent book about sporting Corinthians, "'amateur' was a compliment to someone who played a game simply for the love of it. A hundred years later, it is a by-word for cack-handed incompetence."
The same point is made by the late American literary critic Wayne Booth, who wrote a book about his lifelong love of playing the cello. He intended his book to be "a celebration of what it means to do something worth doing for the sheer love of doing it, with no thought of future pay-off - in a world where you can't even survive unless you do some thinking about payoff".
I've always admired the dedication and long-term tenacity of amateurs, or as Rusbridger calls them, "virtual professionals"--we need more. Sometimes I notice that amateurs seem to love the art more than professionals do and may just be the real engine of the classical music industry, buying subscriptions, cds, as well as donating to organizations.
twang twang twang's take on the Rusbridger article