Monthly Archives: October 2014

Maestro, by David Donnely

The orchestra is in decline.  Apparently this decline has been conventional wisdom since at least 1969.  I don’t know much about this disaster, nor do I know if ½ of orchestras went out of business between 1969 and 1973, as so glumly predicted;  I suspect not.  Alarmism is alive and well in all fields.  But […]


I started re-reading The Black Swan yesterday, a 2007 book by Nassim Taleb (updated in 2012 after the events of 9/11).  The book is brilliant; it’s an exposition on the problems, beauty, and impact of the highly improbable.  Taleb is not exploring improbability in the absurd but brilliant way that Douglas Adams did with the […]

Bowing and Grooves

This past two weeks has been quite busy for me at work, and my practicing has suffered.  So of course in yesterday’s lesson I had to confess to Teacher – she’d know anyway.  It’s not that I’ve made no progress, but another week will be helpful on my newest piece.  I’ve now written two posts […]

Musical Me: An Anniversary

One year ago today I started Musical Me. It was a Monday, a normal day off for me, and I remember sitting on the couch pining over the loss of our cat Mischka, which had occurred just over a week before.  I was also bored, and trying to come up with something to write about.  […]

Nostalgia and Ignorance

The CDs I ordered from my 20th high school reunion (which I did not attend) came last week.  As I listened to them yesterday morning, I knew every single song.  For some it took me a moment to remember, for several I had to look up the artist.  But there they are, every single one […]

Paganini Will Wait

Last week I posted about Paganini being next.  He is – The Witch’s Dance is the next song in Book 2, and I am itching to get going with him.  In Wednesday’s lesson Teacher asked me if I was ready to move on or if I wanted another week with The Two Grenadiers.  I was […]

Closing the Book on the Lipinski Heist

Earlier in the year I wrote about the theft of the Lipinski Stradivarius, currently on loan to Frank Almond of the Milwaukee Symphony.   The instrument was recovered and the responsible parties identified as Universal Knowledge Allah and Salah Salahadyn, previously reported as Salah Ibn Jones.  Allah was sentenced earlier in the year to 3 ½ […]