From Apostle to Apostate

It’s difficult to imagine today, but there was a time when the Venezuelan Bolívar was a benchmark currency within South America. There was a time when Air France offered supersonic Concorde service between Paris and Caracas, when the Hotel Humboldt perched on the mountain above the capital city was symbol of the nation’s vitality and … Continue reading From Apostle to Apostate

When beauty pageants, human rights, and music collide

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were it not for some controversy, the most recent Miss USA spectacle would have passed largely unnoticed, as befits an outdated and sexist institution that ironically claims to be progressive and feminist (because seeing a woman in a swimsuit is apparently an essential way to gauge her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

Book Review: Playing for their Lives

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