stage

Tour of Duty, Tour of Pleasure — by Aron Zelkowicz

A postcard from Vienna: By the time the Danube winds into concrete beds through Stadtpark, the water is just a trickle. Children in their parkas swing on the playground, the U-bahn train pulls into its station, and people stroll or bike over the canal’s bridges, all within a stone’s throw of the surface.  This view from our hotel is lovely and quaint, for those of us on tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony that have north-facing rooms (those with opposite views can peer down on the bustling skating rink next door). Pittsburghers, no strangers to rivers and bridges, hardly needed reminders of the horrible flooding that occurred this week.  The tame canal is at odds with what we’ve seen on the front page of local papers and all over TV.  I [...]

Know Your Cello — by Wayne Burak

It’s far enough in the past that I can’t remember the exact day it happened.  But I do remember the warning signs—the slightly racing pulse, the sweaty hands and labored breathing—you know, the need to pick up a woodworking plane, some files, chisels and fabricate a cello bridge. I think I had been through several days of lectures on isorhythmic motet, compliments of Eastman music history, when one day my mind drifted into a world of cello parts, setups, fingerboards, tops, backs, ribs, and the most delectable feature – varnish.  Really now, what is more enticing to look at than the iridescent play of colors jumping off of the cello back in the late afternoon sun in the Eastman Annex practice rooms?  It’s simply enough right there to take you [...]