Why Ken’s not losing his marbles

Great news from the New York Times today- After controlling for numerous socioeconomic and health factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the scientists found that the subjects who had reported drinking three to five cups of coffee daily were 65 percent less likely to have developed dementia, compared with those who drank two […]

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Post of the week

Much as I dislike it whenever someone comes up with something that is significantly wittier than anything I’ve written in a long time, I have to admit, this post from Sequenza 21 had me howling. What would Alma Mahler have gotten up to in the age of Twitter?   @alma   Wassup, Tweeps! G. conducting 2nd […]

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Fickle Magic

I’ve had a number of questions in the olde mailbag the last few weeks. I’m sorry to keep you waiting, but I do love hearing from you, so please keep them coming. Today, “G” asks-   Hi Ken, I hope you don’t mind a question from an amateur and (even worse) a choir member.  One thing […]

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Secret Beethoven subtexts in Peanuts

There’s a great piece in the New York Times today about Charles Schulz’s use of the music of Beethoven in the Peanut’s comics.   Schroeder plays the Hammerklavier (Photo: Peanuts/United Feature Syndicate, Inc.) In the world of “Peanuts,” of course, Schroeder was the Beethoven-obsessed music nerd who lost patience when Lucy interrupted his practice and […]

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Getting down to work on M5

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m spending a lot of time with Mahler 5 these days- I’m doing it on the March1 OES concert, which will be the finale of our Redneck Mahler adventure, and then again in the summer at Harlech. Happily, I’ve managed to keep a fairly steady stream of Mahler symphonies […]

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The end is in the beginning

I’m often struck by how the threads of my life seem to come together in funny and surprising ways. In the midst of getting up to speed on the coming run of concerts, I’ve also had to do a fair bit of planning and preparation for my final three concerts with the Oregon East Symphony. […]

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Round the web

There’s some good stuff out there on the ol’ internet to read this week. First, Dick Cavett has a nice piece on the forgotten art of the insult, that is, the forgotten art of the clever insult. I haven’t ever found any great writing on that wonderful and often unappreciated art form, the insult. There […]

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RIP- Valentin Berlinsky

It sounds a bit absurd to express surprise at the death of an 83 year-old man, but I was genuinely surprised to learn of the death of the cellist of the great Borodin Quartet, Valentin Berlinsky, who died a few weeks ago. After 62 years in the quartet, I’d assumed he’d be there forever, and […]

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Richard Hickox- the final interview

Hi everyone I’ve just been made aware of this- the last recorded interview with Richard Hickox, available as a podcast on the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra website. Click here to listen, or right click and select “save target as” to download to your computer. The interview with Richard is about halfway through the podcast, […]

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