Category: Fun Stuff

John Williams at 85

A very happy birthday to John Williams, who turns 85 today.  It would be impossible to number the composers I’ve met who have been influenced by him in some way. For me, his film scores were among my first introductions to classical music, even before I knew his name—his soundtrack to E.T. was one of the first vinyl single singles I bought. …

Christmas Shopping

Book choices The French Connection: Caroline Potter Henri Dutilleux £34.99; Caroline Potter Erik Satie A Parisian Composer and His World; ed. Peter O’Hagan and Edward Campbell Pierre Boulez Studies (£69.45).  Though it does not cover the composer’s later years, Caroline Potter’s survey of the music of Henry Dutilleux is the standard English language account of his life and works. Though an older book, I mention in now because it…

Christmas Shopping

I don’t know how many shopping days or sleeps there are until Christmas, but I’m beginning to be fairly stressed about buying presents. There are two problems: people asking me what I want and people not telling me what THEY want. It’s not really in the spirit of things to make Christmas lists, but they certainly help to relieve the…

Christmas Shopping

My family is not the most imaginative when it comes to Christmas present buying. We’ve long learned that the best way to avoid Christmas day disappointment is to make a list. As I was writing mine I was wondering what musical things I would like to put on it and was surprised to find I couldn’t think of much. If,…