I’m back in action, after what I could call a stimulating rest. It’s exhilarating to move into a new house, especially a gorgeous one (if I do say so), which my wife and I helped design. Spacious, comfortable, views on all four sides, with windows everywhere to bring the views to us, plus three decks and two porches…my reward for challenging the sacred cows of the classical music world?

Nah. The only cows  I see are the ones in the field across the road. There’s also a fox who comes around (we think she lives with us, because we’ve found what might be her burrow on our property; I think she’s a she because the burrow has been here since at least the fall, and female foxes, or so I’ve read, stay put after their babies grow up, while the males roam). We watch her from our second floor windows, as she sniffs, lopes around easily, stops to scratch herself. She doesn’t know we’re there.

As for the future of classical music…

I got very flattering e-mail from James Reel, who said that — inspired by my occasional dissection of news stories about institutions’ finances — he’d peered very closely at a recent story about financial success at the Phoenix Symphony. And under his scrutiny, the story seems to fall apart, which is a lot more important than any virtues I might have. Seems like the Phoenix Symphony balanced its budget in its 2005 fiscal year with a lot of help from funding and donations that don’t seem like they can be repeated. So how will the orchestra get by in 2006? You can read James’ analysis here (from his very lively blog at KUAT-FM, southern Arizona’s classical station (James is an announcer there). And you might also want to read his post about the successful chamber music series he helps to run.

Thanks, James, for your flattering words, but most of all for everything you write.

More coming, including more about the book I’m going to write online.

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