03. September 2009 · Comments Off on Nicola Luisotti · Categories: Listen, Opera, Quotes

I grew up in Bargecchia, near Lucca. My father played clarinet in the village band. My mother used to sing “Ave Maria” at weddings. When I was six years old, I remember crying when my mother sang to me, I was so moved by her voice.

I was also fascinated by the organ in our village church. I used to sneak over and try to play it, which made the priest very angry. I was thumping at the keys and he thought I would destroy the instrument. He would run after me and slap me. Eventually, he realized that I was doing it because I loved music so much. I was 10 when the priest asked me if I’d like to learn to play the organ properly. I said yes. That happened on a Tuesday. On Sunday, I was playing the organ in church. I couldn’t read music. I learned just by watching the priest. A year later, I started conducting the church chorus.

Do read the whole thing! There were so many quotes via this Chloe Veltman interview … but I can’t post ’em all. So just head on over and read the darn thing! 🙂

(By the time this is posted I’ll be in the Opera San José pit … and I’ll find out if my iPod Touch, which I forgot to pack up and bring home, is still there or if someone absconded with it. Sigh.)

03. September 2009 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

Is there anything worse than trying to watch the big game at your local sports bar, and you can’t even hear the TV because some idiot is blasting Vivaldi on the juke box? “Hey everybody, listen to how the violins go dee-dee-do-dee and the trumpets go brawk-brawk-brpppt!”

I won’t go on. The writer only gets more annoying.

NOT that I think Vivaldi belongs at a sports bar if you are trying to watch a game. But truly, no music should be playing at all if a game is blasting away … right?

Monkeys are not fans of classical music, but find heavy metal songs by Metallica and Tool soothing, according to new research.

Yep. I’ve found that most people who listen to heavy metal are kind of like monkeys.

(Kidding! Sort of!)


… and then there’s this:


Loud music: Heading off to rock festivals, or simply turning up the volume on your home amplifier might be good for your brain power

Heading off to rock festivals, or simply turning up the volume on your home amplifier might be good for your brain power.

According to researchers at Manchester University, music fans are stimulating part of the inner ear known as the sacculus, which responds to the beat in music. This gives the brain pleasure and makes us feel good – during the music and afterwards.

Not only that, but you can go deaf at the same time. How cool is THAT?!

Just recently on my excursions to San Francisco and then again to Rehoboth Beach I happened to get in a conversation with two guys, one in each city, and they both happened to be conductors. The conversations were fascinating. And later in our talks, it came up at the lack of funding alot of the symphonies and orchestras around were getting. The other problem was is that these groups are also finding it hard to find conductors, and for the matter, symphony members to play.

Hmmm. Lack of funding? Yes. But lack of “symphony members”. I’m not really sure that’s true. I believe there are too many qualified musicians compared to the number of openings. As to finding conductors … well … perhaps finding good conductors is the issue?!

Oboe audition in 9 minutes, and all but one of my reeds have died over the summer. Fantastic.

The evil we all struggle to hide within us, like reed water falling off the stand, splashes us on the ankles.

-Michael Touchi