Well, it’s been a whirlwind.
Frequent readers – and my thanks to all of you – will have noticed that I haven’t been posting much. Ever since January, my life has been a mashup. I’ve been back and forth between New York and Rochester, teaching at Juilliard and Eastman. I’ve been spending time in Washington, DC, with my wife Anne Midgette, who’s been doing spectacular work as classical music critic with the Washington Post.
I’ve been working with the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, helping to get their audience talking to them. (I’ll be there next on March 31, for a concert by the Shanghai Quartet.) Anne and I traveled together to Seattle, for a summit (as they called it) on the future of classical music. I gave a keynote address, Anne spoke on a critics’ panel, and gave closing remarks. Later we went to New Haven, to spend hours with a class on (roughly speaking) the music business, taught by the Dean of the Yale School of Music, Robert Blocker. Music schools, in fact, have loomed large in my life. I’ve met with the heads of two of them (not places I teach), during the past couple of months, and on Monday will be meeting with a third. No names at this point, but I’m glad that I’m consulted.
And then I’ve been composing. And working on my book! Yes, the book on the future of classical music that for quite a while I was improvising in biweekly installments, right here on the ArtsJournal site. Now the final version is under way, and as soon as I have something to show, it’s going up on the site as well. Or at least the beginning of it will.
Then we’ll see what the best way is to unfold the entire project. Eventually I’ll publish a physical book, but I’m looking for ways to unfold at least a draft of the text, chapter by chapter online. I might ask people to pay what they like for each chapter, following Radiohead’s pricing plan for downloads of their last album. (Comments? Does that sound like a reasonable idea?)
But enough generalities. As I read what I just wrote, I see I haven’t quite communicated how mashed-up it all was. I revamped my course, finding new readings, new questions to discuss in class. That took far longer than I expected, but was more than worthwhile. I’ll leave all that, though, and – in following posts – talk more about exactly what I’ve done.