Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

Translation from Latin: Art is long, life is short… yeah, and don’t we know it?! After a half century on earth, there’s an immense depth of knowledge and yearning for more I suppose. I remember picking up a pencil and using it as a baton at roughly 3 years of age. Ha! That must have been a clear signal to Dot and Fred {my parents} I was musically–inclined, especially since I was ‘conducting’ to the LP {real vinyl} ‘Finlandia’. Years later, I got the chance to meet Maestro Zubin Mehta with my friend, pianist Gustavo Romero, at Lincoln Center. Somehow, I convinced my parents to consider that I skip school in Rochester, NY to attend Gustavo’s performance with the New York Philharmonic. Score! {pun intended} What was I thinking? Oh, right! MUSIC. I had music on the brain for sure. I remember crashing with my friend Eric, a painter/jewelry designer and student at The Art Students League of New York. When Gustavo, Eric and I arrived at Avery Fisher Hall, my heart began to race as Mr. Mehta entered the building like some kind of rock star. There’s an arduous path to becoming an accomplished conductor and I immediately knew I didn’t want to be that in life! Later, as a piano major at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, I was overwhelmed by the deftly proficient international pianists in our Master Class. I’m forever grateful to my mentors Yvonne Tolliver, Barbara Noval and Frances Fanelli; three great pianists in their own right who taught me the largesse of classical music. Also, I can’t forget the late Lynn Richmond, who was principal cellist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Lynn was  a gracious woman, sometimes adding me as her ‘plus one’ at RPO concerts. That was several years prior to the velvet rope crowds of New York City’s nightclubbing circles. Yes… those ‘heady years of wildness’ in Manhattan. Priceless!

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