Radio

A Radio Program

Gold box

Chris Van Hof lent me a copy of the book "Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music" by Angela Myles Beeching. Violinist Philip Ying calls it “the ultimate Swiss army knife for the young musician,” and the more I pour over it, the more I think it contains a lot of good advice for anyone working in a creative field.

Beeching oversees the career center at New England Conservatory of Music, and in this volume she summarizes the counsel she offers aspiring musicians, including tips on practical matters such as web-site design, managing money, and using social networking tools.  As a professional church musician, I found this tip helpful; “Avoid playing more than twenty-five minutes without a five- minute break.” (Okay, I can do this if that five minute break includes chocolate!)  Beeching also extends this advice to any physical activity: gardening, typing, sports, etc.  Take breaks, she urges.  She recommends daily exercise, soaking in the beauty of nature, and carving out time for non-musical activities.

Here’s some general advice she gives career counselors working with musicians: “Look for the light in the eyes.”  Your eyes reflect your true passions.  

Finally, this gem. Israeli composer Lio Navok’s compares the artist’s creative internal fire to a small, gold box.  “It’s something absolutely personal and irreplaceable in each of us that we need to safeguard,” he says.   I have a gold box.  You have one, too.  Hold it close.

All that wrath and a bunch of chips

Superbowl advertisers turned to classical composers to help them sell carbonated beverages (with Rossini's William Tell Overture), a new TV series (cue Carl Orff's Carmina Burana), cars (via John Williams' The Empire Strikes Back) and bright orange chips which may not be the healthiest thing for you or your dog.  In my opinion, the juxtaposition of Verdi's Requiem with a slow-motion, runni

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In case you missed this

Four Eastman students have made classical music station WQXR's list of Top Five Viral Videos of 2010. When the quartet Breaking Wind performed a fully choreographed Lady Gaga medley in wigs and sunglasses, “it wasn’t just funny; it was inspired,” writes Amanda Angel. One of these players is interning at WXXI, but so far, she’s left her blonde wig at home.

Sixth sense

One day in middle school, walking out of the lunchroom down a long, sunny hallway, I saw my father emerge from the band room where he taught instrumental music. He spotted me and pivoted, approaching with another music teacher alongside and holding a thick, green glass Coke bottle in his hand. It was half full.

Come to Italy with me!

A few years ago, my colleague Laura Garrison formed a club for WXXI listeners who are passionate about travel.  She and former morning host Simon Pontin led a trip to Austria in 2008. Last year, a small group went to Costa Rica with WRUR’s Scott Regan. When Laura asked me to co-host a trip to northern Italy in 2011, I was thrilled.

Purcell's coded lament

In June, BBC’s Radio 3 polled listeners on their favorite aria.  If you’re into opera, you might guess Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” or "Un bel di” soared to the top of the list, or maybe “La donna e mobile” from Verdi’s Rigoletto.  But the winner surprised everyone; it was a three-century old song from a relatively obscure opera by Henry Purcell.  Officially, England’s most

How not to get to Carnegie Hall

No one taught me how to practice. Just do it, they said, which is how I honed my amazing ability to daydream while moving my fingers. I can play a Bach sonata and keep a running commentary in my head: what’s for dinner? I must send flowers to Aunt Margie (ooops! skipped a note!) Are my favorite jeans in the dryer? Get cat food!

Small town art scene

Privately-funded public art brightened small towns and markets this summer.  My thanks to Classical 91.5 listener Al Kopec, who sent in pictures from the Windmill Farm and Craft Market between Dundee and Penn Yan, where a large mural appeared on one of the buildings.