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Yesterday, I played on a concert of opera favorites with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the excellent soprano Sarah Coburn. The program included the famous Rossini overture to “The Barber of Seville,” which frankly is hard for me to get through without giggling – I can only think of Bugs Bunny torturing Elmer Fudd – “Ehhhhhhhh – next!” Besides being the soundtrack for perhaps the greatest cartoon of all time, …

              Last week, I got my copy of the Juilliard Journal in the mail, and I was very proud to see this article about Bach and Boombox. A big thank you to Susan Jackson for taking an interest in what I’m doing, and giving it such a nice write-up! It got me thinking about my time at Juilliard Pre-College, and how much the school …

In a post last week, I talked about Time for Three. They play tunes you don’t expect classical musicians to, like The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” They also do mashups, where Grieg’s Holberg Suite morphs into Led Zeppelin and Justin Timberlake (and goes back too – a neat trick). Now, playing other people’s music well is not easy – anyone who’s heard a third-rate band ruining their favorite …

Is classical music entertainment? Recently, the very traditional world of classical music has been revitalized by people trying new things (and not a moment too soon). One of my favorites: Time for Three, who call themselves the world’s first “classically trained garage band.” They are, first and foremost, GREAT players, trained at one music’s elite academies, the Curtis Institute. But they also put on a great show, playing original compositions, …

Why is Beethoven’s 5th Symphony the one piece of “classical” music everyone knows? Because it’s the same four note idea repeated several hundred times! You know those songs you can’t forget? Usually, it’s the hook that gets stuck in your head, whether it’s Beethoven’s Op. 18 #1 or My Sharona. (I grew up in the 80’s -no judgement, please!) Whenever I present Bach and Boombox, I start with music that …

Some of you may have seen Bach and Boombox, and others may have heard me talk about it (at great length, I’m sure –sorry!). For my first blog post, I thought I’d share the story of when I first started thinking about music this way. As a freshman cello major living in the football dorm at Michigan (which was great), I was surrounded by people who didn’t know too much …