The pandemic of 2020 stole my voice. I have created music in some form or fashion almost every day for the last 60 years. Music has been my constant companion, it has empowered me, it has comforted me, it has completed me.
One of my pandemic projects has been to join a non-fiction book club. This is a bold step on my part as I tend to read to escape, and fiction has usually been my preference.
The end of the Covid 19 pandemic signals a slow, but steady return to normal as we begin to engage in the group activities that were taken for granted in the pre-pandemic world.
The Covid19 pandemic is gripping our world and the live performances have ceased. We have come up with many creative ways to continue to engage and inspire our public, from live streaming past performances to coming together in virtual collective events.
My wife and I did some amazing things over the summer. We spent a lovely few days at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, we enjoyed an amazing weekend at the Wilds, a nature preserve owned by the Columbus Zoo, and we traveled to Louisville and toured several bourbon distilleries.
One of the rites of summer is the outdoor orchestra concert. Alas, my track record through the years has been that of a drought breaker. Most recently, though we didn’t need the rain, I brought the showers for the Springfield Symphony’s annual appearance at the Springfield Arts Festival.
I just completed the longest road trip in recent memory, eight weeks of ballet conducting. The tour commenced with Sleeping Beauty in Tulsa, then on to the Pennsylvania Ballet for Angel Corella’s new setting of Giselle, and a return to Tulsa for a brand new ballet created by my friend Ma Cong based on the complicated life of Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky.
I recently had the pleasure of conducting Dimitri Shostakovitch’s score to the 1929 Soviet film by Grigori Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg The New Babylon. This was an early score, opus 18, written when Shostakovitch was in his early 20’s. The Westerville Symphony accompanied the restoration of the film by Marek Pytel.
I recently had the pleasure of conducting the orchestra in Shenzhen, China. Shenzhen is an ultra-modern city just across the border from Hong Kong, which remains a special administrative region of China, with its own immigration regulations.
The Summer Season has arrived and while most conductors rummage through their closets to find their white jackets, I dust off my golf clubs and head to the range!