Friday, March 26, 2010

Getting Ready

I'm having to relearn all of my own music!

My first concert since Buddy died is coming up in about a month. I am so pleased to be sharing the stage with my good friend and fellow artists Greg Maroney. Greg and I will be performing our original compositions at a concert benefiting the York (PA) College Nurse Managed Care Centers in York County.

The concert will be Friday, April 30th at 7 PM, at DeMeester Recital Hall on the campus of York College, York, PA.

Greg and I will also be performing that weekend on the Harmony Grove Concert Series: Saturday May 1st at 7PM and Sunday May 2nd at 2PM. Email for tickets. Better hurry, tickets are selling fast.

So I am practicing the piano at least 6 hours a day, not only my own music, but I am also learning (finally) Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit.

This reminds me of a story about pianist Moriz Rosenthal, who was once forced to listen to a prodigy. The conversation went something like this:
"How old are you?"
"Seven, sir."
"What would you like to play for me?"
"Please, sir, the Tchaikovsky concerto, sir."
"Too old!"

To old or not, I'm totally immersed in the Ravel, and Jan has a hard time getting me out of my music studio. In addition, I'm either polishing or keep up a lot of other classical repertoire, plus reviewing the music from Timeless and A Nice Boy From Brooklyn...

Those of you who have seen me in concert know that my wife Jan is one of my favorite subjects. Here's a true story that I especially like to tell:

Several years ago after one of my concerts, a newspaper critic walked up to Jan and asked, " How does it feel to be married to a man who has been touched by the hand of God?"

Jan made the unfortunate mistake of telling me this...

So today, whenever Jan and I have an argument, all I have to say is, "Jan, how DARE you disagree with a man who has been touched by the hand of God?"

Here's a picture of my muse and me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blount Springs

Jan, her mom Lou and I took a day trip to Holly Pond recently. I had never been where Lou grew up, and I wanted to learn more about her heritage. We saw the old home place, the family cemetery, and I learned a lot about her younger years.

There's a lot of farm country there, and I drove past a sign that said, "Bulls for Sale...New or Used". Pretty funny... Sorry I didn't get a picture of it.

We drove through the Blue Hole Village of Blount Springs on the way home. Designed by town planners Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, it is a lovely place. Duany Plater-Zyberk, by the way, planned the wonderful resort of Seaside, Florida, which holds many great memories for our family.

Jan and I have visited Seaside many times. I've played a couple of concerts there, and we celebrated Jan's parents' 50th anniversary at Seaside. We were there while the Truman Show was being filmed.

Jan and I at one time considered buying property in the Blount Springs community, but what made us decide against it was the local school system. If the developer had opted to build a private school within the village, I'm convinced that Blount Springs would have been a resounding success. That oversight has kept the Blue Hole Village from becoming the vibrant community it might have been. It has everything else going for it. If only they'd asked me... :)

The houses are architecturally very much like those at Seaside - Victorian in style, painted in pastel colors, with tin roofs. I am attaching a photo of the waterfall and lake from the entrance to Blount Springs.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Et tu, Fluté?

A friend of mine, Ekkehard Bonatz, in addition to being a gifted doctor specializing in the hand, is also a fine flute player. He recently recorded a couple of songs at our studio.

With me as his accompanist, he recorded the Bach Siciliano and the Schubert Serenade.

Ekkehard's wife Jill, a fine pianist herself, and physical therapists Susan Brown and Nicki Harris came along to watch. I had invited them so they could see their boss in action. I got to know Susan and Nicki when they measured me for the silver thumb splints, and Ekkehard was the doctor who diagnosed my thumb hyperextension problem. Bill Monk was the engineer at the session, and lo, my "photographer in residence", Virginia Jones magically appeared!

The talented Dr. Bonatz

Susan, Mike, Ekkehard, Jill and Nicki

You can see more of Virginia's beautiful photography on her blog:
Birmingham Alabama Daily Photo. While you're there, you can click on the gnome and see her great photographs of Paris. She is also featured everyday on the cover page of the B-Metro website.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Art Attack

When I was in St. Louis, I got up early Sunday morning so I could go to church. I found a church on the internet, but when I got to it, not only was it in the ghetto, but it was totally deserted.

So, since I wasn't able to worship, I fed my soul in another way. I visited the St. Louis art museum. It's a beautiful place, located in a beautiful setting in Forest Park.

I had a wonderful couple of hours there.
Why not take the tour with me?

A large panel of water lilies by Monet. It must have been 20 feet across.

Cezanne: The Bathers

Degas is one of Jan's favorites. We have a small model of this tiny dancer at home.

The point man on this expedition is, of course, Mr. Seurat
Welcome to my News Page. This is where you will find up to the minute information about recording projects, new releases, upcoming performances and more. You will want to visit every week because each FridayI will be offering a new original song for you to! In addition, from time to time I will be sharing studio happenings, what I am listening to, favorite books, and glimpses into my personal life. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions on what you would like to know about me and my music.


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