Black Lives Matter

I tend to ponder before making big statements, and so this post may be deemed tardy. It is deeply sad that this post is even necessary, and my long-protected policy to avoid politics in our Lister communications has left me struggling with the necessity of making the widespread protests, frustrations and real danger part of … Read more

One guy’s opinion

One pastor has decided that church musicians should not only play and sing for free, but that they should be condemned if they don’t. This is quite a stretch, and doesn’t hold water biblically, historically or ethically. The online backlash has been considerable, and our own post on the List’s Facebook page has gotten more … Read more

Owning your copy

This may initially seem like a rant from the “grammar police”, but please bear with me – I’d like to point out an article that offers lessons for any of us who need to talk to the public, online or by other digital means: I’ve found my share of typos on this blog and elsewhere, … Read more

Happy Fall — How ’bout a flu shot?

With Rosh Hashanah starting Sunday night and the High Holidays well underway, the change to autumn is apparent, even in weather-wonky Southern California. We’ve had a little rain this week, and many of us relish the idea of sweaters and boots and cooler weather. It’s also the time of year to get serious about cold … Read more

What are you willing to REALLY reach for?

There’s something about being a musician that makes some people feel helpless, like luck is everything. Quasi-proverbial clichés like “it’s who you know…” and “opportunity knocks” can be misinterpreted as reality checks, and can often feel like slaps in the face. But they should really be calls to action. If you know what you want … Read more

Don’t blame experiment for “killing classical music”

This article from Ireland actually made me laugh out loud:  Click here. (And do read the lot. Even if you disagree with me, it will get your brain moving.) Our regular readers have seen me respond to other examples of the “classical is dead” harangue, particularly the ongoing diatribes that are so often rooted in … Read more

New Music Is the New Black

(or perhaps the canary in the mine?) Hi, tenor Nathan Granner here. I’ve been singing opera and classical music professionally for over 25 years and producing live shows, tours, recording albums for around 15 years. I’ve seen a lot in my day! Here are some of my thoughts. I’ve been so crazy these past months … Read more

The manageable risks that come with “good follow-up”

Over the years with the List, I’ve had quite a few people call me, wondering why singers behave the way they do. Sometimes these calls are quite entertaining, and I hope that my responses are useful, and my giggling not too loud. But one pattern has popped up on a fairly regular basis, and deserves … Read more

Music and grief

Waking up at 5am, I was prepared for bad news. I had already heard about the Camp Fire on the northern end of the state, as my family and I have numerous connections in Paradise, where up to 90% of the town has been destroyed since yesterday. In the wake of a challenging political week … Read more

Riot redux: How exciting are YOUR events?

The WQXR blog (one of my favorites) dipped into a question yesterday about the legend of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring debut. If you’ve ever taken a class about 20th century music, you’ve probably heard the tale:  boos screamed, cat-calls shouted, musicians, dancers and concertgoers afraid for their safety… My favorite bit was something about one audience … Read more

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