P. W. — the initials of Paula Wray McDonald, my wife, partner (and high-school girlfriend). But the two letters PW really stand for “Pianist’s Wife.”

I am the pianist’s wife, Hurrah
Hurrah for the pianist’s wife!
Ah yes, it is a gruesome [glorious] life
To be the pianist’s wife.

WandaAJ.jpgWanda, Nela, Naomi — that’s a lineage. Helpmates, sounding boards, ghost writers, taskmasters, goads. Paula had lessons from Tracy Taub…

Maxims and Citations:

“Always take home as many programs as you can carry.”

“After the concert, in the green room, if the playing was bad, be a spin doctor. Tell ‘em it was great!”

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Pressler/Lowenthal/Frager can’t speak with you now.”

“The audience seemed to love it, but I had a heartattack in that place in the first movement.”

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