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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 …

Of all the kinds of music I know, classical is the only genre that comes with instructions. Imagine for a moment the pre-concert lecture at this performance: No other kind of music really needs to be explained when it’s performed. And often, when it is, you wish it hadn’t been. But in the classical music world, performances often come with extra reading. Program notes can give insight into a piece’s history and structure, or …

For most people, classical music is irrelevant. This is not news, I know, but last Friday night, I played a concert which suggested how to fix that. The concert was with a group I’m proud to be a member of, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. Our guests were Igudesman and Joo, the sensational violin-piano comedy duo. They are both first-rate musicians and comedians. Classical music’s biggest problem, in my opinion, is the fortress of formality we’ve walled ourselves off …

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, …