Jean Sibelius

O sweet spontaneous

About two weeks ago I woke up and found that I couldn’t keep anything down.  Since I know so much about medicine (NOT), I diagnosed myself with a stomach bug and curled up into a ball, waiting for the pain to go away.  It didn’t.  It got worse, in fact, and so after another day I called a nurse friend and asked for advice.  She suggested that I was suffering from something far more dangerous than the flu -- appendicitis -- and she made me promise to go to the local emergency room.   So I did.  She was right.  She probably saved my life.


Starting Monday June 2 at 8:00 p.m., WXXI will broadcast weekly concerts from the 2007-2008 season of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s my privilege to prepare them by writing scripts, editing, hosting, and mixing the performances, which are donated by the musicians after they approve them. I attend each concert, take notes, and then hear it in the studio months later.

I can’t explain why, but performances that electrified the live audience occasionally sound flat on record. In person, the RPO’s Bolero (Ravel) had me on the edge of my seat, even though I’ve heard it a thousand times. On tape, though, it seems a bit ragged.


Who let the dogs out?

If you walk your dog in Toronto’s Jean Sibelius Square, take a leash.

As of January 1st, unleashed dogs were officially banned from the park named for the famous Scandinavian composer, Jean Sibelius. The centrally located park lies near Bathurst and Dupont streets.

Dogs’ rights aside, the park underscores the incredible popularity of Sibelius, who lived from 1865-1957. I can’t think of a composer alive today so universally revered. I’ve been reading about Jean Sibelius, and my appreciation for his music is moving beyond “Finlandia” worship. He loved nature, birds, and drinking. He was a homebody, full of self-doubt, despite his fame.

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