Friends of Music Blog

My Night at Carnegie Hall

  • Posted on: 3 August 2018
  • By: Tom Post

I joined the Bronx Borough-Wide Band as a junior high school student in
1961-62. At that time the Salute to Music program was only a few years old.
The Bronx ensembles were led by the Landi sisters, Anna and Norma. In 1962,
under the leadership of the late great violinist Isaac Stern, Carnegie Hall
invited the Salute to Music organization to choose one borough to perform at
Carnegie Hall. This was the first time in Carnegie Hall’s history that NYC
school music groups would be performing there. The Bronx was chosen to begin

My Year with Arturo Toscanini

  • Posted on: 21 November 2017
  • By: Friends of Music

What did I know about great classical music? I was a 20-year-old kid from the Bronx, studying physics at City College. My parents had ended up in New York City by way of Poland (or maybe Russia) and then the plains of Argentina. My dad was a house painter and my mom took a long subway ride to Brooklyn every day to work in a shop run by her sister-in-law. It was 1948, and America was still feeling enormous relief that World War II had ended. My older brother, who had been stationed on an LST in the Pacific Theater, had made it home safely and was studying to be an engineer.

The Teacher Who Changed My Musical Life

  • Posted on: 14 November 2017
  • By: Friends of Music

Raymond Hanson, my beloved teacher passed away on Oct. 26, at the age of 98. He began studying piano at the age of 12. By the age of 15, he appeared as a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The story is that the guest soloist who was scheduled to perform with the symphony got sick, and needed a replacement. Ray’s teacher recommended him to play the Saint-Saëns Second Piano Concerto. It was remarkable that he learned the piece, memorized it, performed it within four days.

My Family’s “Music Genes”

  • Posted on: 18 October 2017
  • By: Friends of Music

No one should be surprised that scientists have found a genetic basis for musical genius. People have long suspected an alliance between base pairs and base players, chromosomes and clarinetists. How could there not be, given the explosive productions of families like the Bachs, the Haydns, the Mozarts, and the Mendelssohns—to say nothing of the Everly and Allman brothers, the Beach Boys, the Jackson Five, and, of course, the Pointer Sisters?

Find a Story, Tell a Story in Music

  • Posted on: 18 October 2017
  • By: Friends of Music

It was 8:30 a.m. in June—pretty early for a gig for any professional chamber ensemble. But the Zorá String Quartet, the graduate quartet in residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, was excited, wide-eyed, and ready to meet Brittney Trenczer’s string-instrument students from Sleepy Hollow High School and Middle School.