Dead White Guys
Memoir of an Addiction
Until my mid-twenties, I thought the prospect of going to see a group of people dressed as penguins playing music by irrelevant dead white guys was tantamount to watching grey paint dry on a cloudy day. But as I grew bored with pop music and the three-minute format, I decided to look for something more.
My mom was an ethnomusicologist, so exotic music was very much part of my childhood. But save ballet, she didn’t have any interest in the western classics. I prided myself on being open to different genres, so my music collection ran the gamut from soul to deep purple to weirder stuff like the flying lizards and early Adam and the Ants.
I thought the 3 classical recordings I had – Chopin waltzes, Copland and Ravel hits (pretty good makeout music) – would be the only ones I ever needed. But then I got struck by lightning when I heard the overture to the Force of Destiny by Verdi, which completely blew my mind. I guess I was in the right space to really listen to it. So I wanted to know more about this art form, especially when I discovered that it encompassed history and culture and politics and technology.
A thousand years worth of material. Amazonia! I’ve been exploring this realm for over 30 years and I’m still discovering new tributaries and new vistas.
This website is designed for the person I was; filled with curiosity, yet not knowing a sonata from a frittata.
First symphony concerts of the 2022 season. The orchestra is in very fine form with new music director Esa-Pekka Salonen. The new programming employs a terrific balance of war horses, obscure classics and emerging composers.