An appreciation of John Oliver

Boston Globe: Tanglewood chorus director Oliver to step down. I auditioned for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus almost ten years ago. In that audition, I showed my lack of symphony and opera experience by singing a work by Landini — a good audition piece for an early music ensemble, woefully out of place for a symphony chorus. But John Oliver […]

Welcome, Andris Nelsons

Boston Globe: BSO names Andris Nelsons music director, succeeding James Levine. An exciting day. I sang with Nelsons last summer at Tanglewood in a deeply felt (if a little idiosyncratic) performance of Symphony of Psalms. I also watched him conduct the BSO in a spine tingling version of Ravel’s La Valse that was easily the […]

Radar map of Irene

Taken at 6 am this morning. Gonna be a long day.

Late August

Ah, late August. The temperatures are still high (well, high by Boston standards, anyway–growing up, 83° was more like a warm fall afternoon) but you can tell summer is getting to be a little long in the tooth. For starters, the tomatoes are starting to come in. We only have a handful of tomatoes on […]

Star time with the Pops

We had an unusual Holiday Pops concert last night. It wasn’t the normal Monday night audience by any stretch of the imagination–unless your “normal Monday night audience” includes an active and a retired US Senator, the governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and more than your average number of glitterati. Last night friends of Senator […]

Backstage at the Hatch Shell, July 4, 2010

This weekend I had one of those eerie experiences where you step into a picture you’ve always watched, but never imagined yourself in. When I was growing up, the Fourth of July meant band concerts at Fort Monroe–if you’re growing up in Tidewater Virginia, military base concerts are your best bets for live music and […]

TFC back to the 4th

Tonight on local news station WBZ, there’s a good look at the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. I didn’t realize it had been a full decade since we’d been at the Hatch Shell for July 4th. (Also: WBZ, would it kill you to provide an embed link for your videos?)

My first Pops Independence Day concert

This Fourth of July will be a first for me. After five years of membership in the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, I’ve hit the big time. Bigger than singing with James Levine? With Sir Colin Davis? With Renée Fleming? Maybe. I’ll be singing my first Fourth of July concert with the Boston Pops, as a member […]

On being on the Business Blogs list on

For about the past week, my blog has been linked from the Business page of Which is odd, because this isn’t really a business blog. Sometimes I write about technology strategy, occasionally about marketing; frequently about product management. But you’re just as likely to find posts about music, or turning 40, or the history […]

Probably not what he had in mind.

In other musical news, the first ten seconds of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms makes a pretty good ringtone: [audio:|titles=Symphony of Psalms (1931 recording)] Recording courtesy the Internet Archive, who had a copy of a 1931 78RPM recording of the symphony conducted by Stravinsky the year after it premiered. I’ll be singing with the Tanglewood Festival […]

Late May afternoon

I wish I could bottle how this feels. The clear blue sky, the warm breeze, smell of new cut grass sharp in the nose. Dogs pulling both ways. Long time coming.

On the record

The BSO announced two new albums this week. I’m looking forward to hearing the Carter, and am ordering multiple copies of TFC: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Not because it’s my chorus (I’m not on the disc–these were small group recordings that went through the year I started with the chorus), […]

A visit from the Virginia Glee Club

I was going to write up Monday night’s Virginia Glee Club concert yesterday, but a couple busy days at work and a rehearsal last night ensured that I would get beaten to it (see the Tin Man’s writeup of the New York concert here). So I’ll just give a few thoughts about my experience at […]

On winning a Grammy

Last night, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Levine conducting, won a Best Orchestral Performance Grammy for our 2009 recording of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe. I blogged our nomination a while ago but am still delighted that we won. All the hard work seems worthwhile today. Not that my work, as a […]

Preparing the MacMillan St. John Passion

It’s that time of year again. My colleagues and I in the Tanglewood Festival Chorus have put away our Holiday Pops scores in preparation for tackling more sublime repertoire. This upcoming concert, the US premier of James Macmillan‘s St. John Passion, a joint commission by the BSO and the London Symphony in honor of Sir […]