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In today’s video, we hear the Allemande from the d minor Suite, which contains one of the most shocking moments in all of Bach’s cello music. Bach surprises us with the most dissonant chord he can – the tritone, sometimes called “The Devil In Music”, followed by a sudden flurry of very fast notes. To me, it sounds like someone pulling a fire alarm and running away – maybe Bach, …

Two Against Nature – An Appreciation of Walter Becker and Steely Dan          From left, Walter Becker, Donald Fagen, and Glenn Gould (who did not, to my knowledge, play with Steely Dan) Earlier today, one of my favorite musicians died – Walter Becker, half of the creative team behind Steely Dan, a 70’s band whose music has been mislabeled so many times, I will not even attempt to say what genre …

It’s time for round 2 of the Bach Suite videos! Today we hear the Prelude to the d minor Suite. This piece sounds like one of Bach’s improvisations – the beginning seems like someone opening a door to a room for the first time. Hope you like it, and if so, please consider a donation to 4-Way’s free education program by clicking the donate button – thanks!     Till next …

As hard as it is to imagine right now, school starts in two weeks! 4-Way will once again be in residence at Woodford Paideia, assisting with 5th and 6th grade orchestra, this time for the whole school year. We’ll begin our after school program in early September, and we can’t wait! There will be more news coming soon about the program, new supporters, and upcoming concerts – stay tuned! In …

  Classical music presenters are always looking for new ways to boost attendance at their concerts. Well, the search is over – turns out all you need is skydivers and a soccer team. On Monday night, I played the American and Spanish national anthems with some colleagues from the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra in front of over 23,000 people, the largest audience for a string quartet performance in history.* We were …

It’s hard to believe that the summer break is more than half over – in about a month, we’ll be back to work teaching at Woodford Paideia, and possibly elsewhere, too! Stay tuned for more details about that. We’re putting together a short video about 4-Way’s education program, and it will be up next week. In the meantime, here are two videos from the Music Haven program, one of our …

To regular readers of this blog, please bear with me today – things are going to be a little different. There is still a video in which I perform and embarrass myself – however, I’m not playing the cello, and I’ve got some company for a change. This past weekend, I went back to New York to attend my redacted anniversary high school reunion. I was incredibly fortunate to attend …

Today would have been my father’s 79th birthday. He passed away over five years ago, though for me, especially today, it feels like it happened yesterday. He gave me many different gifts, and since his passing, I’ve seen them come together in ways I hadn’t expected, but that I think he’d be pleased to see. We shared a love for many things, including baseball and the Pink Panther movies, but …

Recently, it was proposed (yet again) that the National Endowment for the Arts be eliminated, which has arts advocates (and anyone who can do math, frankly) in an uproar. Just before the budget proposal was unveiled, I submitted the following piece to Movers and Makers, Cincinnati’s monthly chronicle of local culture and philanthropy – you can read it below, or here. Though it isn’t about the NEA, my underlying point …

I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again – Bach turns 332 today, and he hasn’t aged a bit! To celebrate, here’s a video on the final movement of the first Suite – perfect party music, by the way – a raucous Gigue! We’ll also learn how Bach was a pioneer in “foreshadowing”, used all the time by modern writers and moviemakers!   Thanks for watching, …