How I Fell in Love With Mozart

I had already posted about the Minnesota Orchestra’s concert coming up this week—noting the multiple plays off of Russian fairy tales. But there is another, more personal reason why I made damn sure I had tickets for this week’s concert at Orchestra Hall.

And that reason is Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20.

Let me explain. Continue reading

A Powerful Concert for Veteran’s Day

Today is Veterans’ Day in the United States—an extraordinary day of reflection and gratitude. To honor the day, let me tell you about a concert I attended recently in London, which beautifully captured the spirit of the holiday and its multiple layers of meaning. It is a concert that will stay with me for a long, long time. Continue reading

The Lockout is Over, and the Rebuilding Begins

Reckless O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me,

Sail forth—steer for the deep waters only,
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!

          – Walt Whitman


It appears that the ugly lockout of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is over, and the ASO musicians have reached a new four-year agreement with their parent organization, the Woodruff Arts Center (WAC). The new contract retains a fixed complement of 88 and provides small pay increases for the musicians. It also gives the WAC time to improve marketing and fundraising. Continue reading

Russian Fairy Tales at Orchestra Hall

“Once upon a time….”

There are few phrases that can so quickly capture our attention and fill us with an expectant sense of wonder. This is, of course, the phrase that opens the door to the world of fairy tales and imagination… and for many of us, a phrase that rekindles long-forgotten memories of childhood. People all over the world love their fairy tales, which have stoked the creative fires of authors, screenwriters, painters and musicians for centuries.

Especially for Russian composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Continue reading