TWENTY QUESTIONS - A SELF-INTERVIEW

October 3, 2016 at 02:25 PM · “TWENTY QUESTIONS”

The Violin Channel has an interview series with string celebrities called “twenty questions”. I thought I’d similarly interview myself with 16 questions – I think that’s more than enough…

WHEN WERE YOU BORN?

None of yer guldern business! Let’s just say that when I began music lessons I had to begin on a gamba because the violin hadn’t been invented yet!

OK, truth be told, I was born in 1952. There, I said it! Are you happy?

WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AT THAT TIME?

Off the top of my head, musically, Toscanini was still active, but not for much longer, Kreisler was to live for 10 more years, Heifetz was in his prime. Elman was going strong and Oistrakh, Francescatti, Grumiaux and Stern were coming up fast.

Otherwise, Britain came out with the A-bomb and the USA came out with the H-bomb. Eisenhower was elected president, isotopes were used in medicine and industry and a contraceptive pill was developed. Rocky Marciano won the heavyweight championship belt from “Jersey” Joe Walcott that year as well.

The paragraph above is something I could not have come up with in a live, real-time interview. Those facts came care of a quick reference book I have, called “The Timetables of History”. It’s not written in that book, but I believe that at the same time, dinosaurs still roamed the Earth here and there. Why not? I’m still roaming the Earth now!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTIME?

Other than music I love art and reading, among other things.

WHO ARE THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE ON YOUR CELL PHONE?

Does “Pronto Pizza” count? Actually, nobody. But I have a few famous violinists on my email list.

WHAT CRAZY RUMOR IS FLOATING OUT THERE ABOUT YOU THAT YOU’D LIKE TO PUT TO REST?

Well the only rumor I know about is the one that I am the finest and most famous violinist in all of Long Branch, New Jersey. But I kind of started that one, so…

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

One of the violins I commissioned from Ed Maday was very personalized at my request with a lion’s head, Stainer-style and my own Latin motto on the ribs, Amati style: “In Mvsica Felicitas” (In Music Happiness). I also admire the Polish motto of the legendary pianist, Arthur Rubinstein: “nie dam sie”. I understand this to mean “I won’t give in, I won’t knuckle under”.

WHAT IS YOUR SUPER POWER?

On the violin, it’s my special bowing technique. I have the power to unerringly hit with my bow, any stand light or microphone within reach! I find that I don’t even have to practice this technique; it’s just an innate gift!

IF YOU COULDN’T BE A MUSICIAN, WHAT OTHER PROFESSION COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF IN?

Probably acting, comedy or writing. I seem to have a predilection for talents that don’t usually attract a lot of money!

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?

A number of things. But I think that it starts with being true to yourself - and a lot of other things will fall into place.

DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST?

Sometimes. But I don’t like to get tickets, so…

IS YOUR GLASS HALF EMPTY OR FULL?

Both, really. But I usually prefer to focus on the full part.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE WHAT WOULD IT BE?

A few things. For sure, I’d have started violin lessons earlier and practiced more from an earlier age.

WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A PROFESSION WHERE SO MANY HAVE FAILED?

That’s assuming that I HAVE succeeded! But to the extent that I have, it’s due to my enormous perseverance and living by the “nie dam sie” motto cited above.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CONCERT OR RECORDING THAT YOU HAVE DONE?

The NEXT one!

IF WE CAME OVER FOR DINNER, WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR US?

What makes you think I’d cook anything? And why didn’t you call first? Actually, I’m no cook. I used to know how to boil water – but I lost the recipe. We’d all be better off if I ordered Chinese food or pizza.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC?

Pundits have been sounding the death knell for classical music for a very long time. Yet it keeps surviving somehow. There are serious problems to be sure. And there is a reason why popular music is called “popular”. But I think that the computer age and modern technology has actually given classical music a new lease on life, however imperfectly. One way or another, classical music will survive.

OK, that’s enough about me. Now it’s YOUR turn!

Replies (28)

October 3, 2016 at 02:37 PM · And I thought you were much younger than that!!

October 3, 2016 at 03:33 PM · Raphael:

As a professional psychologist (and an amateur violinist), I can't resist responding to your 20 (or less) questions.

WHEN WERE YOU BORN? 1941

WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AT THAT TIME? WWII, and I spent the first day of my existence fighting to stay alive (in a hospital in Chicago) because I kept ceasing to breathe. Fortunately, I'm still here.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTIME? Aside from my family and my profession, my favorite pastime is listening to violin concertos (and sonatas and encore pieces and chamber music and....etc.) and trying to play as much of it as my technique will allow.

WHO ARE THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE ON YOUR CELL PHONE? There are no famous people on my cellphone. And I don't think I'm on any famous person's cellphone either.

WHAT CRAZY RUMOR IS FLOATING OUT THERE ABOUT YOU THAT YOU’D LIKE TO PUT TO REST? I only wish there was any sort of rumor about me. It's nice to be noticed (just ask our political candidates).

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? My late step-father was a World War II hero, a successful judge, and one of the founders of the Civil War Round Table (Carl Sandburg was a friend of his). Before he died, we were talking about the meaning of life. And what he told me has been my motto ever since: "When all is said and done, you're only as good as your word."

WHAT IS YOUR SUPER POWER? I'd like to think that my best quality is the ability to appreciate other people (it's why I became a psychologist), great music, and great performances, and the ability to teach other people how to appreciate people, great music, and great performances.

IF YOU COULDN’T BE A MUSICIAN, WHAT OTHER PROFESSION COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF IN? You've got that backwards. If I couldn't be a psychologist, I'd like to think I have enough talent to be a composer.

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE? There is no such thing as a standard human being.

DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? Are you kidding? I'm definitely not a risk-taker. I won't even get up on a step-stool (just ask my wife).

IS YOUR GLASS HALF EMPTY OR FULL? Full.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE WHAT WOULD IT BE? Not very much.

WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A PROFESSION WHERE SO MANY HAVE FAILED? To the extent I have succeeded (as a psychologist), it's hard work, analytical thinking, and heart. Whenever I've succeeded playing the violin, it's been pure luck.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CONCERT OR RECORDING THAT YOU HAVE DONE? I was in a chamber orchestra in college that I still look back on as a professional level accomplishment. I've never made a recording, but my favorite recording (out of the thousands of great ones out there) is the Beethoven Violin Concerto (1950, Francescatti, Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra).

IF WE CAME OVER FOR DINNER, WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR US? I would cook up a choice from the menu of one of our favorite restaurants, and then call the restaurant to deliver it over.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC? Sorry, no crystal ball. But I think it will be around as long as human beings exist.

Now I get to add one.

WHY IS CLASSICAL MUSIC SO IMPORTANT TO YOU (ASSUMING THAT IT IS)?

My answer to that is my favorite music quote, by Tchaikovsky:

"Music is not illusion, but rather revelation. Its triumphant power lies in the fact that it reveals to us beauties we find nowhere else, and that the apprehension of them is not transitory, but a perpetual reconcilement of life."

Cheers,

Sandy

October 3, 2016 at 08:29 PM · ...sure, why not!

1- WHEN WERE YOU BORN?

12:30am GMT ;)

2- WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AT THAT TIME?

Quite a lot actually! Thatcher was prime minister, Iran went to hell, Voyager I was hanging around Jupiter, and Michael Jackson went solo! Oh, and it snowed in the Sahara desert!

3- WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTIME?

Gonna copy Raphael's on this one: Other than music I love art and reading, among other things.

4- WHO ARE THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE ON YOUR CELL PHONE?

Some bishops and college deans and army folks.

5- WHAT CRAZY RUMOR IS FLOATING OUT THERE ABOUT YOU THAT YOU’D LIKE TO PUT TO REST?

A lot of people who meet me think I'm gay, I don't know why! So don't get your hopes up, I'm not.

6- WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

I've had various over the years. They varied depending on which area of interest of mine I was most active at the time.

7- WHAT IS YOUR SUPER POWER?

I can come up with the most inappropriate things to say at social occasions! That's why you'll always see me holding a drink, so I can use that as an excuse. I actually hardly ever drink; 'drunken fool' is my secret identity! Oh, wait, /super/ power. ...uuhm I can hold my breath for three-and-a-half minutes.

8- IF YOU COULDN’T BE A MUSICIAN, WHAT OTHER PROFESSION COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF IN?

I'm not a professional musician anymore, so... ...I should have become an archaeologist, but instead I tangled myself up with computers. Can I be a professional musician again?

9- WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?

That's easy! Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of... Wait, that's what's best in life. What's most important in life? Ok Fox here is your chance to say something meaningful, don't blow it... The most important in life is to appreciate life! It's such a precious, fleeting gift. Appreciate it, live it to the max! But don't be a jerk about it.

10- DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST?

No officer, I've never done over 10% the speed limit...ish.

11- IS YOUR GLASS HALF EMPTY OR FULL?

It varies!

12- IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Oh this could be a long list! But I think the greatest of all my regrets was never getting to perform Beethoven's 9th symphony. If I could go back I'd make sure that happened!

13- WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A PROFESSION WHERE SO MANY HAVE FAILED?

Have I? I'll get back to you on that one.

14- WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CONCERT OR RECORDING THAT YOU HAVE DONE?

Tosca for sure.

15- IF WE CAME OVER FOR DINNER, WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR US?

Co-...o-k? Do people still do that?

16- WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC?

It will always be there, so long as we teach the next generation and give them the opportunity to play and enjoy it!

October 4, 2016 at 04:53 AM · OK, I'll play.

WHEN WERE YOU BORN? The same year as President Obama.

WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AT THAT TIME? I have no idea; I was a baby! My world consisted of naps, formula, and diapers.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTIME? Reading, and spending time with my family. I am very boring.

WHO ARE THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE ON YOUR CELL PHONE? ummm....nobody.

WHAT CRAZY RUMOR IS FLOATING OUT THERE ABOUT YOU THAT YOU'D LIKE TO PUT TO REST? I would like to hear a crazy rumor about me! As previously mentioned, I am very boring. :-)

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? Tell the truth.

WHAT IS YOUR SUPER POWER? I was the co-creator of three pretty amazing human beings.

IF YOU COULDN'T BE A MUSICIAN, WHAT OTHER PROFESSION COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF IN? Most likely I'd be a high school math teacher. Boring, I know.

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE? Family, hands down.

DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? I used to. Minor vision issues (not to mention a couple of tickets) have sucked all the fun out of driving.

IS YOUR GLASS HALF EMPTY OR FULL? Half-full.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I wish I had practiced more as a child.

WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A PROFESSION WHERE SO MANY HAVE FAILED? Success is relative. A child prizewinner in the Menuhin competition would consider my career a failure. A road warrior going from freeway philharmonic to freeway philharmonic might consider my career a big success. I don't know if there's any secret--work hard, keep learning, and get up when life knocks you down. Also at the outset of my career I was willing to take a job that some of my classmates turned their noses up at, but the experience I gained there was invaluable.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CONCERT OR RECORDING THAT YOU HAVE DONE? Whatever the most recent one was.

IF WE CAME OVER FOR DINNER, WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR US? Thai chicken with cashews, served with jasmine rice.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC? It will survive as long as western civilization does, and thrive wherever music education is valued and supported.

October 4, 2016 at 11:08 AM · Good ones!

Fox - I actually had the privilege of playing the Beethoven 9th in Carnegie Hall! It was a memorable experience!

Mary Ellen - Your dinner menu sounds delicious! May I come over?

October 4, 2016 at 09:48 PM · You are most welcome the next time you're in San Antonio!

October 4, 2016 at 10:30 PM · Oh, on the contrary Mary Ellen. Your discussion points are fascinating!

WHEN WERE YOU BORN?

Late enough to not be a millenial

WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AT THAT TIME?

I remember a pool that I obviously couldn't go in. I was told my dog would always knock me over too. I'm pretty sure the world stopped at the fences of my home at the time, so I'm not too sure much was going on. ;D

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTIME?

Procrastination.

WHO ARE THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE ON YOUR CELL PHONE?

My mommy.

WHAT CRAZY RUMOR IS FLOATING OUT THERE ABOUT YOU THAT YOU’D LIKE TO PUT TO REST?

For whatever reason members of my school orchestra think I'm very good, and always ask me to learn a duet with them... I don't know how that started... But I would really like them to ask someone else...

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

It is a quote by the economist John Maynard Keanes "In the long run we are all dead."

WHAT IS YOUR SUPER POWER?

I've become a highly skilled air bower when I need to cram during rehearsals. To be honest I think the technique involved in pulling it off cleanly is harder than actually playing the music.

IF YOU COULDN’T BE A MUSICIAN, WHAT OTHER PROFESSION COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF IN?

Heh. My dreams of being a professional musician died when I found I was too old and my skin was too white. I plan to pursue physics though!

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?

My English teacher seems to believe it is her class...

DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST?

I used to, but life changes when you realize your car doesn't go between the 2 trees like you really want it to after losing control in a corner at 45mph.

IS YOUR GLASS HALF EMPTY OR FULL?

Depends on the temperature of the room that day. Living in Illinois it's usually less than half empty.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I wish I would have started playing sooner

WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A PROFESSION WHERE SO MANY HAVE FAILED?

Well. I went up to my school counselor, and signed a form stating I will be filling a class slot with string orchestra for this year. It was very difficult and exhausting to do so.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CONCERT OR RECORDING THAT YOU HAVE DONE?

Elgar's Enigma variations was very enjoyable.

IF WE CAME OVER FOR DINNER, WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR US?

When I'm feeling creative I usually throw a lot of spices and seasonings at meats and vegetables. Basically any spice or seasoning that looks earth colored makes the list. Then I serve it as fajitas. Tends to get rave reviews.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC?

I'm not sure we should ask Marty McFly about that one.

October 4, 2016 at 11:19 PM · BORN? Mid 60s

WORLD? Civil Rights Movement. Vietnam War.

PASTIME? Music! Classical violin and jazz piano. I might have said "family stuff" but that's more than a pastime. That's life itself.

CELEBRITY ON SPEED DIAL? Let's just retire this one, shall we?

CRAZY RUMOR? What Mary Ellen wrote.

MOTTO? Enjoy life!

SUPER POWER? Building furniture.

WHAT OTHER PROFESSION? Music. LOL!

MOST IMPORTANT? Family... and enjoying life!!

DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? Nah, usually I've got something precious in the car like a child or a violin.

IS YOUR GLASS HALF EMPTY OR FULL? Completely full!

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I wish I had met my wife a lot sooner.

WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED? Partly by having a few clever ideas when I really needed them, partly by investing significant time and effort in my students, and partly dumb luck. Anyone who doesn't credit dumb luck is lying to himself.

FAVORITE CONCERT OR RECORDING THAT YOU HAVE DONE? "2 Degrees 3 Degrees West" -- a CD by the Highlands Jazz Quintet, in which I play the piano. Working on a piano-trio CD now. I have also enjoyed accompanying my kids solo violin and cello recitals.

WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR US? Chicken cacciatore. We should all do a v.com cookbook (for example using cookbookoriginals.com)

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC? 10-year-old kids who can play circles around me.

October 5, 2016 at 12:02 AM · I want to read more crazy rumors about the members.

I've heard that about Alexander Markov sleeps inside a refrigerator to keep himself looking young, but covered with a blanket to keep himself warm while inside the fridge.

Now that's a crazy rumor.

October 5, 2016 at 01:37 AM · Ok fine, let's have some fun.

WHEN WERE YOU BORN?

Late 1960's

WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AT THAT TIME?

We landed on the moon. My mother swore that she made me watch it on TV.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTIME?

Reading.

WHO ARE THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE ON YOUR CELL PHONE?

I'm pretty sure they would prefer not to be outed.

WHAT CRAZY RUMOR IS FLOATING OUT THERE ABOUT YOU THAT YOU’D LIKE TO PUT TO REST?

I heard that I'm the meanest mommy ever. I promise it's not true. Just don't ask my kids.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

No Regrets

WHAT IS YOUR SUPER POWER?

Apparently it's being the only person in the house who can wake up to an alarm clock.

IF YOU COULDN’T BE A MUSICIAN, WHAT OTHER PROFESSION COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF IN?

Well, since I'll never be a musician, I'll just stick to banking. Ideally, I'd like to be a lady of leisure but that boat sailed without me a long time ago.

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?

Value your loved ones.

DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST?

Not too fast, but 10 over is OK.

IS YOUR GLASS HALF EMPTY OR FULL?

Always at least half full. Sometimes more.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I would have gotten out of that crappy town sooner.

WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A PROFESSION WHERE SO MANY HAVE FAILED?

Pure Stubbornness

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CONCERT OR RECORDING THAT YOU HAVE DONE?

Ha ha! In my dreams.

IF WE CAME OVER FOR DINNER, WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR US?

My specialty is reservations. My husband does all the cooking, but he would make some homemade bratwurst and sauerkraut for you.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC?

Well, it has lasted this long.....

October 5, 2016 at 02:05 AM · "my skin was too white" Please reconsider this; you seem like a nice young person and a serious student but there is nothing constructive about such stereotyping. On the rare occasions that one of my students makes a similar remark, my response is always this: If you want the same achievements, do the same work.

According to my DNA, I am 78% western European and 20% Irish--that's so white, it's luminescent. And has zero to do with my ability to play the violin.

October 5, 2016 at 03:02 AM · M E I don't actually think this... The majority of that post was meant to be a joke. I don't believe for a second in the potential of one based off his/her race. I am usually the first to complain when someone calls a spectacular performer "talented", which entirely overshadows their hard work and determination.

October 5, 2016 at 03:29 AM · Thanks for clarifying. I think such jokes are better avoided.

October 5, 2016 at 08:46 AM · WHEN WERE YOU BORN?

Early 1970s.

WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AT THAT TIME?

Greece became a dictatorship, the Rocky Horror Show premiered in London and the Watergate scandal escalated. Also, Joseph Szigeti died.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTIME?

Other than music I enjoy nature and hiking.

WHO ARE THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE ON YOUR CELL PHONE?

Nope, no famous people.

WHAT CRAZY RUMOR IS FLOATING OUT THERE ABOUT YOU THAT YOU’D LIKE TO PUT TO REST?

Someone spread the vile rumour that I like brussels sprouts which I hereby refute officially and with the utmost vehemence.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Never stop practising.

WHAT IS YOUR SUPER POWER?

Procrastination. I have developed this to an art form. Only exception: practising. I am also able to tear letters from the revenue office with my bare hands.

IF YOU COULDN’T BE A MUSICIAN, WHAT OTHER PROFESSION COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF IN?

I am not a musician, but I often think I should have gone into medicine.

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?

Many of the things that money can't buy.

DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST?

No, I'm more on the cautious side.

IS YOUR GLASS HALF EMPTY OR FULL?

Doesn't matter, as long as it's filled with beer.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I wish I had had the opportunity to start playing the violin as a child.

WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A PROFESSION WHERE SO MANY HAVE FAILED?

Doesn't apply to me.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CONCERT OR RECORDING THAT YOU HAVE DONE?

If only...

IF WE CAME OVER FOR DINNER, WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR US?

Italian, I think, pasta and tiramisu.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC?

It will outlive us all.

October 5, 2016 at 12:00 PM · "SUPER POWER: Procrastination." Joanna, I love it. I bet most people reading this site are engaged in procrastination at that very moment. :)

October 5, 2016 at 11:39 PM · Is your glass half empty, or half full?

Neither.

The glass is simply twice as large as it should be.

October 6, 2016 at 02:21 AM · Using the Internet for procrastination? Now that's just crazy talk!

October 6, 2016 at 03:02 AM · Paul stop reminding us of the dreams we are crushing as we type out our posts to avoid putting in work.

October 6, 2016 at 04:45 AM · Oh heck, why not.

WHEN WERE YOU BORN? Early 1970s.

WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AT THAT TIME? Singapore, the country of my birth, was an ascending Asian tiger. Nixon was being impeached.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTIME? Other than music, I enjoy roleplaying games, board games, and video games, as well as reading extensively and wasting time on the Internet.

WHO ARE THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE ON YOUR CELL PHONE? Michael Dell.

WHAT CRAZY RUMOR IS FLOATING OUT THERE ABOUT YOU THAT YOU’D LIKE TO PUT TO REST? I have a professional, industry reputation of being terrifying. There's a good chance the rumor is true.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? Who needs sleep?

WHAT IS YOUR SUPER POWER? Unusually fast nerve conduction speed.

IF YOU COULDN’T BE A MUSICIAN, WHAT OTHER PROFESSION COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF IN? I am not a professional musician. I had wanted to become a surgeon, once upon a time, before I was deeply drawn to computers and lacked enthusiasm for organic chemistry.

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE? Leaving behind a memorable legacy.

DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? Yes, in the right circumstances.

IS YOUR GLASS HALF EMPTY OR FULL? Forget the glass. I have a plastic bottle of water.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE WHAT WOULD IT BE? I wish I hadn't quit playing the violin twice over for a decade each time.

WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A PROFESSION WHERE SO MANY HAVE FAILED? I'm not a pro musician, but I like to think I've done well in the musical efforts I've pursued through my non-musical skills as much as my playing.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CONCERT OR RECORDING THAT YOU HAVE DONE? From when I was a high schooler in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Morgan, where we played Mahler 1 in the Musikverein in Vienna. Magical.

IF WE CAME OVER FOR DINNER, WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR US? Prime rib, creamed spinach, and garlic mashed potatoes.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC? Very much alive, if changing to fit modern tastes and consumption patterns.

October 6, 2016 at 08:27 PM · Bonus question: WHAT'S UNDER THE BED?

Extra cases, extra case covers, some really old newspapers - hmmm..."Lucky Lindy" made it! - and some alarmingly large dust bunnies, which tend to multiply like, well, bunnies.

October 6, 2016 at 09:49 PM · Lydia, I enjoyed your answers. Just so you know, it was just the opposite for me. I was a pre-med when I went off to college too. When I took organic chemistry, I decided it was so fascinating that I had to do that for the rest of my life. Different (bow) strokes for different folks!

What's under the bed? Dust bunnies, one sock, and possibly a couple of stale Cheetos.

October 7, 2016 at 03:59 AM · Christ my ap chem class just hit vsepr theory. Just when I was beginning to enjoy chemistry and was reconsidering my potential major... Nope back to physics.

@Lydia I have never heard of creamed spinach before... Sounds good though...

October 7, 2016 at 04:30 AM · Creamed anything is delicious.

October 7, 2016 at 05:01 AM · You've never had creamed spinach? Wow. The next time you're at a good steakhouse, order some.

Under the bed, I have a bunch of flat plastic bins that contain miscellaneous electronics. I think it's mostly cables. We have infinite cables.

October 7, 2016 at 12:37 PM · A student of mine just told me yesterday that a classmate of his licked rosin and said it was delicious. I suppose that creamed rosin would be even better! I think I discovered a lost cat toy or two under my bed as well. Considering that my cat passed years ago and in a different residence, I find that pretty strange!

October 7, 2016 at 07:41 PM · Viennas best rosin cream cake

October 8, 2016 at 12:59 AM · Bailey VSEPR theory is no big deal. Just follow the rules and you'll soon find it rather boring. I can't fault you for enjoying physics. I always did too. Great career opportunities in physics, but especially at the physics-chemistry interface. Polymer physics is really cool, that can be approached from chemistry, or from physics, or from engineering.

The secret to cooking spinach is that you cannot flinch from buying what appears to be an enormous quantity of spinach at one time. One of those huge plastic tubs of pre-washed spinach leaves cooks down to four modest-looking servings.

In my lab course we isolate the oxalate from spinach leaves which I puree myself in my food processor at home. I designed the experiment myself. The oxalate is isolated as the calcium salt. The lab is called "Make Your Own Kidney Stones" because calcium oxalate is what they are most commonly made of.

My advice? Drink a lot of water.

October 8, 2016 at 05:57 AM · @Paul The issue isn't comprehending the rules. The issue is memorizing them in a very short amount of time. As with the rest of the topics I need to force into my memory for the tests. I am a very logical thinker, but I most certainly lack in good study habits. Which is why physics has fit me well so far.

I like your lab, it's clever and very amusing conceptually.


Our Kokopelli
Please support Violinist.com
through your
one-time donation or
sponsorship campaign.

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

The Potter Violin Company

Coregami Performal

Metzler Violin Shop

Gliga Violins

Zhuhai International Mozart Competition - Apply by April 30, 2017

Connolly Music

Corilon Violins

Meadowmount School of Music

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Heifetz International Music Institute

Long Island Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Pro-Am Strings

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop