I was raised in a family that enjoyed music, but not classical music. I grew up listening to the big bands of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Tommy Dorsey, which in a sense was fortuitous because it engendered an understanding of orchestration, tone color, and musical structure even within the limitations of pop tunes. By high school, my love of music led me to both small-group jazz and symphonic music, which in turn led me to classical and jazz piano music. From there, it was but a short step to opera. I studied piano, which allowed me to deconstruct and “play out” lines from other, more complex scores that further enhanced my sense of structure. After graduating college, I taught both English and music in the public school system.
Over the past 35 years I’ve written free-lance performance and recording reviews for a variety of publications. I’ve been very fortunate in my life to be able to have in-depth discussions on singing and interpretation with Sir Peter Pears and Jan DeGaetani, piano technique with William Masselos and Shura Cherkassky, violin with Isaac Stern, cello with Yehuda Hanani, and conducting with Leonard Slatkin, Erich Leinsdorf, and Klaus Tennstedt. I am also the author of a CD-ROM book on the history of recording and its relationship to arts music, Spinning the Record. Recently I rewrote the libretto for Nancy Van de Vate’s opera Nemo, and have contributed the forward to a book-in-progress on Arturo Toscanini.