I'm pleased to announce the launch of a new website, one that is simpler and cleaner than its predecessor. Some important changes: Since the last iteration of the site was launched in 2012, a number of pages have become obsolete. I've attempted to retain them all under the original URLs for archival purposes, but they … Continue reading A site for sore eyes
It’s likely that, were it not for some controversy, the most recent Miss USA spectacle would have passed largely unnoticed, as befits an outdated and sexist institution that ironically claims to be progressive and feminist (because seeing a woman in a swimsuit is apparently an essential way to gauge her intellectual capacities). But the competition … Continue reading When beauty pageants, human rights, and music collide
This review originally appeared in the February 2017 edition of the European String Teacher Association (ESTA) Journal. In 2009, before I left for Venezuela to work with its national orchestra network, better known as El Sistema, Tricia Tunstall presented me with a copy of her piano memoir Note by Note. One evening on my travels … Continue reading Book Review: Playing for their Lives
Expecting a large ensemble to improvise as successfully as a jazz quintet is ludicrous.
I’m tired of being stomped like a foot-action player piano and then being told I’m empowered and improvising.
Whither (wither?) the Sistema Special Interest Group?
Didn't make it to Glasgow? Here's some of the stuff you might have missed.
I miss the old days, when doing a conference entailed sequencing a few heart-warming anecdotes from Venezuela, and where the only challenge was choosing the right tone and tenor to leave the audience bathed in moral elevation having heard firsthand the power of music. I particularly missed those days at 3am last Wednesday morning when … Continue reading To confer and to confront
Of the many quotes of the eminently quotable British Statesman Sir Winston Churchill, the one that seems to have the most currency today is his statement that “Democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried.” This wry cynicism may be attributable to Churchill’s personal view of Democracy, … Continue reading A little less conversation, a little more…