First the violin, a 1799 Horenstainer, Mittenwald that replaced the "cigar box" I was handed as a kid. My precious teacher, Samuel Gardner selected this German original for me in Paris, France. From there, I took it to Merrywood music camp in Lenox, MA where I coached under Eugene Lehner of the Boston Symphony. Oberlin… Continue reading Showcasing two of my exquisite instruments (Violin and Piano)
There are snips of folkore surrounding this elder statesman of the piano, but aside from slights about his teaching etiquette and temperament, I've always adored Menahem Pressler's artistry. An "old" 1974 recording of the pianist's Mozart's Bb Concerto, K. 450 is an ambrosian delight. The playing is pure singing poetry permeated by impeccable phrasing. An… Continue reading Menahem Pressler, Mozart, and Masterclasses (Videos)
While the study of two musical instruments is time-consuming, it can reap benefits in widening a student's horizons. If a pupil plays only piano for years on end he may deny himself the rich experience of participating in an orchestra or small ensemble. And while it's true that some pianists manage to grab a score… Continue reading The value of studying the piano and a second musical instrument
The musical universe is smaller than we think. And perhaps this writing will incubate a linked chain of "connections" that will go further--especially since my relocation to Berkeley, California (September, 2012) So here it is: Now that I'm well past my Oberlin Conservatory student years, I notice that Lillian Freundlich, my beloved teacher during my… Continue reading Shrinking degrees of separation in the music world?
Was I dreaming? Did I wake up in a chicken coop on a hot and humid July morning? The summer before I was a Merrywood camper, encapsulated in a forest of pines bordering Lenox, Massachusetts. A short journey to Tanglewood for a Sunday morning BSO rehearsal, was followed by a breakfast of sizzling waffles and… Continue reading Appel Farm Music Camp and the Chicken Coops
If I let my imagination run wild, I would frame this writing around Robin Hood. The backdrop was the Merrywood Music Camp, nestled in the Berkshires in a dense forest where a friendly outlaw could easily rob from the rich in Lenox, and retreat into the pines, practically unnoticed. Merrywood was a stone’s throw from… Continue reading A Breathtaking Merrywood Music Camp Finale!