Last weekend I played Concertmaster and some chamber music at the Ojai Festival in CA. It’s probably the most unique festival I’ve ever been to, combining a beautiful but rustic setting with top-notch concerts, a fanatic and extremely literate audience, and truly eclectic (even bizarre) repertory.

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Columbus’ Last Voyage?

It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them.

-Pierre Beaumarchais

I’ve been avoiding writing about Columbus because unless I’m directly involved in a situation like this one, I’ve found that I usually don’t have enough of an understanding of the specifics to say anything meaningful. Plus there are already lots of people out there writing really well about it (exception: the Columbus Dispatch).

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Dude, Where’s My Violin? Ch. 2

I’ve had more than a few conversations and emails on this topic since the first chapter two weeks ago, so I thought I would post a quick update.

First off, last Tuesday Philippe Quint played a concert at the Newark Airport for the local cabbie populace. Cynics might call this a PR stunt, but I thought it was a nice gesture, given my own experiences taking a cab into NYC. Plus he got a free ride back into the city and this time they didn’t drive off with his violin.

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Dude, Where’s My Violin?

A week ago the violinist Philippe Quint took a taxi from the Newark airport to his apartment in Lower Manhattan. The taxi arrived at about 12.30 AM and Mr. Quint watched as it drove away with his most important piece of luggage still inside- the 1723 “ex-Kiesewetter” Stradivarius violin, on loan to him from the Stradivari Society in Chicago, and probably worth around $4 million or so.

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Orchestral Fines

With all this Music Director discussion it seems like a good time to post something in a little more humorous direction. Several years ago someone sent me a wish list just in case a policy is ever put in place for monetary penalties during orchestral services, and I’ve updated and revised it a few times over the years. Those of you who work regularly in an orchestra may recognize some of these infractions; hopefully everyone can find something amusing here. It seems to be evolving every year or so, so feel free to email me with any suggestions for future fines…..

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MD Hide and Seek Part 4

Our management managed to find a couple of services in early December 2007 where we could at least have him in front of the orchestra, even if we didn’t do an actual concert. At this point the committee was thinking that (at a minimum) the orchestra could get a sense of that intangible chemistry we were looking for (or lack thereof), and also perhaps there might be time for Mr. de Waart to look around the city, meet some Board people and the committee, and get a feel for the organization.

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