“My first wife …

“My first wife is American, and my second wife is Italian—but her father is from Sri Lanka, which makes it more of a mixed salad.” His wife, Evelyn, who comes from Italy’s Alto Adige region, speaks German to their two young sons, who will easily pick up Italian, he says, because they know French. “And that’s not the end of my cosmopolitan story,” Mr. Maisky adds. “I play an Italian cello with French and German bows. I use Austrian strings. I drive a Japanese car. I have an Israeli passport. I wear a Swiss watch and an Indian necklace, and my four children were born in four different countries.”

–Cellist Mischa Maisky, in WSJ.


Sad, slow, agonizing death (redux)

When can we stop chronicling classical music's brushes with death?
When can we stop chronicling classical music’s brushes with death?

Mark Vanhoenacker provides some overheated analysis in his Slate piece, “Requiem: Classical music in America is dead.”

When it comes to classical music and American culture, the fat lady hasn’t just sung. Brünhilde has packed her bags and moved to Boca Raton…

Live classical music is less commercially viable than ever. Attendance per concert has fallen … but even if every seat were filled, the vast majority of U.S. symphony orchestras still would face significant performance deficits.

It’s worthy of a read, if only so that you know that in 1937, the median age at L.A. classical shows was 28.