Happy Birthday, Rachmaninov

Today is Rachmaninov’s (1873-1943) birthday. So I began to think of his Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini which got me to thinking about the first time I heard that piece of music. It was in a Music History class over 30 years ago that I was sitting in on when I taught at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. And then I began to think of the teacher/colleague for that class, a passionate, exuberant, and bright vocal conductor, who opened my ears to the details and emotion of sound. I remembered our working together (along with a half a dozen others) to build this new school dedicated to the arts, fueled in young enthusiasm and zeal and absolute commitment. I wondered what had happened to him and decided to google him and discovered in a wikipedia entry about him that he just got a job at the prestigious university about two miles from our house as a tenured professor and director of choral organizations. And now I’m in the process of reconnecting with this old friend. Happy Birthday and thank you, Rachmaninov, for reconnecting us once again!

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