Blog Posts on Music

Getting to Know You


Dear Rochester,


Valentine’s Day this year came too early in our relationship for declarations of love. I do like you an awful lot. We’ve had a few good months together since we met up this fall.


Saturday nights at the RPO, afternoons at the opera:

Runner's high

A friend from church gave me an old treadmill which she described apologetically as "state-of-the-art 1985."

“It’s as loud as a helicopter,” she warned, “but we just replaced the belt.”

Never mind that the belt is as narrow as a balance beam, get this -- the speed adjustment knob goes from turtle to rabbit.  I love that knob more than words can say.

Imani Winds, Classical Workouts, and Lovvvvvve


It’s only February, but a lot of really cool stuff is going to have to happen this year to knock the Imani Winds’s recent performance on Backstage Pass off my list of coolest things in 2012. You can watch the whole thing online right here:

The Doctor and the Diva

Nutritionists will tell you it’s dangerous to shop for food when you’re hungry and more likely to wander into Twinkieland.  For me, the real peril lurks in Wegmans’ book aisle, where on a recent Friday afternoon, I picked up The Doctor and the Diva, the debut novel by Adrienne McDonnell.   “Some books just naturally enslave you,” read the Washington Post blub on

Mahler, Mahler, Mahler

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is playing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 this evening and Saturday night (I’ll be there on Saturday).  Just by chance, I happen to have a few cool Mahler links that I’ve saved up for a rainy day. 

Check out this time lapse of the stage being set for Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 “Symphony of a Thousand” at Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.

All I ever needed to know about classical music (I learned from the Music Lover’s Handy-Dial Guide)


My colleague Jessica Smithorn got the coolest Christmas present from her mom this year. It’s the ‘Music Lover’s Handy-Dial Guide to the Great Composers” – a sort of secret decoder ring guide to classical music.

Battle on the ice

I'm so glad we're finally getting a real blast of winter weather in New York State!

In this film clip from Alexander Nevsky you have to wonder, how do those guys stand in the cold without shivering?

La ci darem la mano - Variations on Sinatra and Mozart

Which is stranger: Danny Kaye conducting the New York Philharmonic or Frank Sinatra singing opera?

Check it out here in the movie “It Happened in Brooklyn” (1947), Sinatra sings in “La ci darem la mano” – a duet from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, where the Don seduces Zerlina.


Mystery Creature Week - updated January 13

It’s Mystery Creature Week early mornings on Classical 91.5, with performances evoking animals from Lang Lang, the New London Orchestra, and the Boston Pops.  See if you can identify the mystery animal at 6:40 a.m.