Category Archives: Great Artists

Final bow


King’s Singers

My colleague Trent Patterson found a King’s Singers 10th anniversary concert album at a record shop recently, and bought it for me.

I listened to it on Sunday, on my turntable that I so seldom use, but which is now posted in the living room and plugged into the stereo system.

My doctoral professor Simon Carrington is at lower right in the photo on the album cover!


Several deaths this past week, touching me tangentially.  Wife of a colleague.  Parent of a student.  Friend from long ago.

Here’s John Donne (1633):

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Muny Magic

On Wednesday evening, I attended the Muny leading men concert at the Sheldon.

And it was magic indeed.

These guys have pipes, personality, and poise.  And a GREAT time was had by all!

They reprise the show on Thursday, October 19 at 7.30 p.m. at the Sheldon. Grab a ticket for two hours of so much fun!!

Coming out

Facebook reminds me that this October 11 is National Coming Out Day.

I tend not to speak of my sexual orientation on this blog, but today I’m going to tell a story.

When I was in high school, I was close friends with a classmate.  We were in orchestra together.

One weekend night, at a sleepover at his house, we were listening to the Dvorák B-minor cello concerto, sitting close together in a living room only lit by a single light over the piano.

The recording was the Du Pré, from 1971.  My friend was telling me that she had subsequently, not long after the recording was made, stopped playing because of a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. (She died in the early 1980s.)

There was in the living room that evening a quiet spirit and connection.  We were united in mystical reverence for the Dvorák . . . sorrow in the despairing thought of this great artist silenced . . . and also in an unspoken yearning between us — yearning that was never requited.

Last year, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra performed this very same Dvorák concerto.  I was seated in a dress circle box, and as I listened to that magical final movement, thoughts of that sleepover from nearly 40 years ago swirled around me.  I found myself tearful at the bittersweet thoughts of what might have been, what was, what is  . . . and the now-immemorial brilliant voice of Jacqueline Du Pré.

So to my readers and friends around the globe, there’s part of my story.

Those final thumping chords, and that last impassioned swell from the cello — they get me every time.

Here’s some the Du Pré recording:

Performances to attend

My fall performances-to-attend schedule is coming into focus, and I’ve purchased quite a few tickets in the past few days.

September 11 — our own jazz series

September 12 — South Pacific at Stages

September 13 — Curious Incident at Rep

September 15 — Harry Potter at SLSO

September 17 — Daniel Schene, piano, at Webster

September 18 — Paul DeMarinis Ensemble at Webster

September 24 — my own studio recital at Webster, and then a faculty recital that evening

September 25 — jazz series at Webster

September 29 — [title of show] at WebCo

September 30 — Lizzie at New Line

October 2 — Debby Lennon jazz concert at Webster

October 6 — Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in Chicago!

October 8 — Webster University Orchestra

October 9 — faculty recital at Webster

October 11 — The Bodyguard at the Fox

October 12 — Spring Awakening at Stray Dog

October 15 — two events at Webster

October 16 — Wind Ensemble at Webster

October 17 — faculty recital at Webster

October 18 — Muny Magic at the Sheldon

October 20 — Hamlet at the Rep

October 21 — The Wizard of Oz by Variety Club at the Touhill

October 22 — SLSO

October 30 — Webster University Chamber Singers pre-conference concert

I shan’t even think yet about November and December.

And there’s also five trips in October and November, which means I’m missing some other things here in town!