A recent article in the NY Times caught my attention. It was a review of performances in the Mostly Mozart Festival’s new venue – a 230 seat space used for part of the concert series – and it also advocated for smaller venues, in general, for classical music performances. (“Let’s Get Intimate. Big Music Doesn’t Need Huge Halls” by ANTHONY TOMMASINI AUG. 3, 2016)
A beautiful video circulating online features the extraordinary effects of music on elderly residents of a nursing home. Otherwise silent and unresponsive people with dementia came alive when their favorite music was played for them. Their faces brightened, their eyes sparkled, their smiles beamed brightly, and they often began to sing along. It inspired the documentary ALIVE INSIDE.
We recently took out-of-town guests to a performance by a dulcimer ensemble. It’s a group of adult musicians – a club — who get together twice a month to rehearse, and perform publicly in various casual venues around town.
One of the most frequent comments I hear from listeners is, “I don’t know much about music, but I like listening to Sunday Baroque.” It’s a lovely compliment, of course. But it’s also a reminder that there are many artificial barriers around classical music – and nothing delights me more than tearing down those barriers.
People often ask me how Sunday Baroque came into existence. I’d like to say it was a strategically planned effort to address the burgeoning interest in baroque and early music in the late 1980s. However, the truth is that it was a happy accident. With my freshly minted Bachelor’s degree in music performance, I had never even set foot in a radio station before.