I look somewhere around a billion photos during my stay in South Africa—let me share a collection of my 10 favorite nature shots. Enjoy! * * * [For my complete list of blogposts and articles following the Minnesota Orchestra/Minnesota Chorale … Continue reading →
Hi all, after a whirlwind of incredible tour performances, I’m getting ready to head out on Safari (it’s currently a bleary-eyed 6:30 AM local time). So blogging is on hold for a wee bit. But in the meantime, may I direct you to MinnPost to read my story on how the Minnesota Orchestra / Minnesota Chorale engagement activities are having a profound effect on folks here… as well as us? Read the story here.
First, apologies for not writing on my blog since arriving in South Africa. The reasons are both complicated and quite simple… it’s been an endless succession of crazy, wonderful days crammed full of events and activities that change, re-change, and re-re-change more than once per day. But in the end, the biggest reason for not writing has been my determination to… well, actually experience my experiences, and do to so fully and unabashedly, without detaching from them in order to chronicle them.
Back in 2015 when I traveled with the Minnesota Orchestra on its historic tour to Cuba, many readers expressed an interest in me putting together a Cuban-related reading list. I was happy to do so—having taught Latin American history for many years, it was easy to update the reading list I used to inflict on my students.
Some have wondered if I’m putting together a similar list for South Africa, as a set up for the tour to South Africa. I was hesitant to do so… South African history is not a particular area of expertise. In fact, since learning I’m going on this tour (both as a performer and a member of the media), I’ve been working overtime to dive into the country’s history, culture, politics and natural history. But this gave me an idea for a new post—sharing some recommendations from the South African reading list I essentially assigned to myself.
I don’t pretend the following list is comprehensive, exhaustive, or the final word on South Africa… but it does provide a list of books I found particularly interesting and/or useful, and came highly recommended to me.
It was one of those Moments…the kind of moments you are lucky to have every once in a rare while, in a career as a performing musician.
Funny enough, it came not at a performance, but at a rehearsal this week. And really, it didn’t involve me at all… I was just there to witness someone else’s Musical Moment. No matter—it was a rare gift, and one that will stay with me a long, long time. Continue reading →
Today is Bastille Day for our good friends in France, and I thought I’d celebrate here on my blog with a collection of great French works. But upon further reflection, I thought I’d take slightly different approach. It is, of course, easy to assemble a collection of French favorites: slap together some Debussy and Ravel, throw in a dash of Berlioz, and tack on Fauré’s Requiem for good measure. But ultimately I decided to focus the list more, and provide 10 of my favorite music that celebrates Paris itself—works that seek to depict its boulevards, cafés, architecture, its people… or simply life in the City of Lights.
Please note that I’ve deliberately sidestepped opera here, although Puccini’s La bohème, Verdi’s La traviata, and Massenet’s Manoncertainly fit the bill!