When we think of ballet at its best, The Nutcracker almost always dances through our heads. Children across the world have been delighted by this fanciful Christmas ballet, and countless ballet companies have performed the work. Of course, what child doesn’t dream of toys that come to life, and wouldn’t be thrilled at the thought […]Read more "T: Tchaikovsky, “The Nutcracker,” and Holiday Magic"
“In his eyes, all the sadness of the world.” Christine – Phantom of the Opera “Pitiful creature of darkness, what kind of life have you known? God, give me courage to show you. you are not alone!” Christine – Phantom of the Opera In its day, French Grand Opera was the single greatest […]Read more "P: “Phantom of the Opera” – A Haunting Reminder"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) has gone down in musical history as a master composer, an art that he took up at the tender age of five. His greatest claim to fame, however, is that he was a “Master of Melody.” His melodies are simple, clear, and stunningly beautiful. Mozart knew better than to overcomplicate his […]Read more "M: Mozart and the Beauty of Simple Things"
It’s perhaps the most recognized musical theme in the world. Every child who has ever pretended to be a shark in the swimming pool has heard it, and even those who haven’t have played it on the piano. John Williams, the composer who gave us the memorable film scores to cinematic treasures such as Indiana […]Read more "J: “Jaws” and Beyond – the Genius of John Williams"
While I was working on my master’s degree in music, one of my professors told us something that I thought was incredibly profound. “If you’re going to survive as artists,” he told us solemnly. “You’re going to have to become masters at reinventing yourselves.” I took this advice to heart, and it has served me […]Read more "H: Handel’s “Messiah” and the Art of Reinventing Oneself"
Beethoven’s fifth symphony was first performed in Vienna in 1808, and was soon described by E.T.A. Hoffman as “one of the most important works of the time.” Through the years, this impression hasn’t faded in the least. This symphony continues to be one of the most recognized classical compositions, and is one of the most […]Read more "B: Beethoven’s 5th (The Meaning Behind the Music)"
“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller “One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” William Feather When we hear the name “John Williams,” we often think of the epic musical scores this Hollywood film composer has provided for blockbuster films […]Read more "Finding Adventure in the Everyday – John Williams’ “The Mission”"
I was excited to discover that January is National Hot Tea Month! Though my wife and I have recently developed a taste for good coffee, I’ve found solace in a good cup of tea since my early college years. It all started during my first teaching trip to Mainland China in the Summer of […]Read more "Celebrating Hot Tea Month – 5 Songs to Soothe Your Soul"
If I were asked to sum up the rich meaning of Christmas in one word, it would be “Emmanuel.” This year, more than any other, I’ve found myself surrounded by this name in Christmas songs and on Christmas cards, and I just haven’t been able to keep my mind off of reflecting on […]Read more "Emmanuel – Christmas in a Nutshell"
What is the most haunting Christmas carol you have ever heard? There are countless Christmas songs and carols being trumpeted over the airwaves this season, but none capture the poignancy of Christ’s birth as well as the old folk song, I Wonder As I Wander. So where exactly did this song come from? That […]Read more "“I Wonder As I Wander” – A Haunting, Beautiful Reminder at Christmas"