Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

The streets are deserted. Hope the same isn't true for the concert hall. It's worth reflecting for a moment that cultural activity and discussion, whether they're about classical music or something more middlebrow like movies, are only possible when there's peace and stability on the homefront. Spare a thought for the soldiers through the centuries who gave their lives to make our domestic tranquility possible.

The diligent Cliburn staffers found out for me that Stephen Beus is a Mormon. I found that interesting because the Mormons seem to be turning out classical pianists these days, as well as other types of musicians. Clearly the old image of the Osmonds and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is out of date. I wonder whether they're doing anything differently from the general population when it comes to musical education.

I also wonder what would happen if the 5 Browns decided to compete here. The siblings hardly need the exposure that the Van Cliburn provides, of course, but it'd still be interesting to hear them on their own and see how they stack up against the rest of the competitors.

By the way, yesterday's New York Times Book Review featured this essay by Joe Queenan on books with the word "piano" in the title

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