Thursday, January 8, 2009


The term resolution is a funny one for the music geeks. Resolution is a point of rest, something already achieved, which makes the idea of a New Years resolution a little funny. I'm not exactly going to make resolutions this year, but I do appreciate a moment to take a look at where I am and where I am not.

Let's look ahead first:

This semester I'm back in front of students, and it's a nice feeling (well, not so much today since I'm battling a cold, and talking for an hour and a half on a poor night's sleep and runny nose isn't ideal). I'm teaching about 20 students in a seminar on Sondheim, and I'm anticipating a great semester. The challenge is dealing with a wide range of experiences, both in terms of repertoire knowledge and basic music knowledge. The less challenging part is that I'm not dealing with anyone who doesn't want to be taking the class. The class is also in a far-off and confusing building, but I'm managing. I went in this morning and got keys, saw things, and then went over my material again. I'd forgotten how fast it goes.

I'll also be taking a film historiography class. No comments as of yet.

And finally, I'll be continuing revisions on the dissertation proposal. In other words, continuing my attempts to woo my professors into going along with my ideas. What I'm liking most at this stage is the bigger thinking, formulating a take, listing arguments and counterarguments, questions and suppositions, then throwing it on the table for advisors to continue to examine. What I don't like is explaining it to my relatives, the heaviness of all those books, people who recall books I want, or the elusiveness of certain broad points I want to make (or at least the words with which to make them).

Other things to look forward to:
-summer, hopefully spent partly here, partly at dance camp

-SAM, my favorite conference. Denver this year, an airport I've not had luck with in the past. But hey, there's a hostel nearby for me (anyone else want in?)

-Local conference in February. Usually a good time. You've all applied, right?

-Hearing back from people to whom I have given abstracts. It would be nice to do at least one thing this year.

-Follies this weekend.

-Susan McClary's talk; dissertation workshops; all the other yet-to-come music talks. Free lunches, and usually something eye-opening, and possible socializing after.

-CSO concert in January: Salonen is conducting and has a new piece on the program. Also, the ever-rewarding La Mer, alongside two severely underperformed 20th century gems: Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments and Bartok's Concerto For Orchestra.

-My first pre-concert talk, before the much-anticipated ST. Louis Symphony concert here: Sibelius 5, Wagner, Zimmerman, and Adams (the last one, Guide to Strange Places, is unfamiliar and not available. Not available, that is, unless you know people who used to work for Boosey and Hawkes. Sweet! Thanks Jack!). Several other UMS concerts too, including Andras Schiff's last couple Beethoven sonata concerts, NY Phil doing Rite of Spring and Pictures.

2009 looks good. I'll do a series of looking back at 2008 posts in the coming days.


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