Editor Mike Silverton contributed to the print bi-monthly Fanfare first as a columnist and later as a reviewer for about a dozen years before he proposed to Madrigal Audio Laboratories that they sponsor an Internet music review. Thus La Folia. (The sponsorship ended with Madrigal Labs’ demise. La Folia has since operated absent sponsorship or ads.) In addition to having contributed articles to Stereo Review, The Absolute Sound, and most recently, StereoTimes.com, Silverton produced poetry readings for Pacifica Radio (WBAI, KPFA, KPFK), WNYC and the New School for Social Research dogs’ lifetimes ago. His own poetry has appeared in anthologies compiled by the late William Cole, poetry mags, Harper’s and The Nation. More recently Silverton has shown his art at Aarhus Gallery, Belfast, Maine, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. A two-CD set, Analogue Smoque, Pogus 21029-2, features Silverton reading his texts to musical accompaniments by Tom Hamilton and Al Margolis. Silvertonresides with his wife Lee, an artist, in an 1842 town house on the coast of Maine (in which Jefferson Davis spent a night in 1854).
Managing Editor Grant Chu Covell works in the Boston area for a global technology company that made hardware which Xenakis and Babbitt used to good effect. His music reviews have appeared in EAR Magazine and InMusic, and he was the publisher of The Periodic Journal of Bibliography (1990-95). A short article on a work for piano and tape is in the Csound Magazine. His instrumental and electroacoustic music has been performed in the U.S. and abroad, and he has shared too many CDs of his music with family and friends (one work was recorded in a refrigerator). Two electroacoustic works have appeared in commercial compilations: Presence III and The Door Project. A recent CD can be found here. A long departed family dog’s name was taken from a character in Wagner’s Ring.
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At three Beth Levin fell in love with her first piano, an old Lester upright in the basement. She would go down for hours and create a little world for herself. Made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 12, and performed with them again at 16. (Her teacher was the great Chopin interpreter, Maryan Filar.) On her first day as a pupil of Rudolf Serkin at the Curtis Institute, she roamed the halls of practice rooms wondering how anyone could practice for six hours. Her best moments have been as soloist with orchestras in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Seattle, touring in Music From Marlboro and with chamber groups she has founded, most recently the American Arts Trio. She writes: “I live with my family in Brooklyn. I very much wanted children and was eager for the challenge of balancing a musical life with a home life. One of my favorite tasks is to pop a lasagna into the oven while doing some intense practicing, thereby fulfilling two roles at once — mother and musician.”
Dan Albertson, (“he”), born betwixt a quarter and a third of a century ago and once from small-town Michigan yet now settled further to the Midwest, is biographically reticent, a man of few passions and perhaps, per Musil, a man lacking in qualities. No training in any particular field, but seems closest to belonging in the realm of musicology. He both delights in, and is dismayed at, his lack of institutional affiliation. He is the founder and director of the Living Composers Project, though his own interest has turned decidedly against contemporary music in recent years and towards the Baroque and Renaissance. Thank you, Sir Roger. Contemporary music is too often “garbage,” he believes, though with obvious exceptions. He is the author of critical articles for American and European publications and has edited four volumes of Contemporary Music Review, on composers Helmut Lachenmann, Earle Brown and Aldo Clementi. As a poet, he has collaborated with several composers but tends to write poems as gifts — sometimes welcomed. As translator, he works regularly with Cybele Records in Düsseldorf. He enjoys walks, jogs, swims and paintings, but not all at once.
Miri Jassy is writing her Ph.D thesis on the Australian idioms in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She produced the 2011 Sydney Bloomsday event at Sydney’s Gaelic Club. Miri has performed in and produced popular Bloomsday events since 2001 and works as a freelance High School English teacher, writer and opera reviewer. Her love of fine music derived from years with the school orchestra, university madrigal choir and tending bar at the Sydney Opera House as an undergraduate.
Walt Mundkowsky was born 1944 in San Antonio, TX. As a teenager, he had a dachshund named after Hugo Wolf. Extensive writings on film (cf. his “Cinema Obscura” column in Home Theater, 1995-2001). He favors the mine-shaft approach to music listening — in-depth exploration of tiny, unrelated areas. A resident of Beverly Hills, he has lived in basements in Denver, London and Stockholm, and may very well do so again.
Iddhis Bing lives at La Generale, an artist’s commune on the edge of the Seine. He writes fiction (NeoYorkinos, The Apartment Thief) – someday the grandees of American publishing will see fit to bring them out. He takes bad pix and enjoys himself. Stay tuned.
Ellen MacDonald-Kramer is a Canadian writer and opera historian based in London, UK. She completed her MA degree in musicology at Toronto’s York University, where she also studied voice with renowned mezzo-soprano Catherine Robbin. The castrati are Ellen’s research specialty, but she has many interests and enjoys mixing disciplines (for example, she has studied the character of the opera singer in classic literature). In addition to articles and reviews, she writes fiction and currently has a novel manuscript in circulation.
Signor Scardanelli, formerly of Tübingen, Germany, took up residence in the editor’s attic in 2002. He visits the listening room once or twice monthly to listen to, and write about, recordings. For recreation he plays the air lute.
Fabulon Nipoupski, sole survivor of a folie-à-deux, resides in an undisclosed location with five borzois and one Komodo dragon.
Ethelbert Nevin, a retired technical draftsman, resides in a quiet New England backwater. Currently translating a novel about Continental pinsetters, Nevin longs for the days when music didn’t try to please everybody.
Irving Washington is the nom de guerre of a munitions gourmand who breeds chupacabras.
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Dan Davis is a New York-based speechwriter, travel writer and music reviewer. He reviews audio equipment and classical music recordings for the preeminent high-end audio journal, The Absolute Sound. Davis also reviews classical releases for various print and Web publications, including Amazon.com and Classics Today, for whom he also does concert reviews. His speechwriting clients include prominent corporate and civic leaders and his travel writings appear in newspapers affiliated with Copley News Service, and magazines such as In Style and Diversions. He’s also authored six books on various historical subjects.
Howard Grady Brown is a poet, playwright, pilot, printer and lover of classical music. Howard’s wife Anita is a retired singer and voice teacher. She and Howard lived in New York City for 22 years. Howard has had plays produced off Off-Broadway and on television. He regularly contributes poetry and criticism to several websites and has published a chapbook, Cobb Lane, as a companion to his brother Larry Allen Brown’s CD of Celtic-styled pieces for solo guitar and small ensemble. In 2009 Howard published Attitudes of Flight, a book of poems dedicated to his wife, who died ten months after they moved to Florida in 2008. It is available at Amazon.com. Howard’s play, The Lady Swims Today, opens March 24, 2011, at the Arena Theatre in Texas City, TX — for those in the Houston area who might be interested.
Starting in an alcohol-free county in West Texas (before air conditioning or paved roads), W.A. Grieve-Smith tried to obliterate the Great Depression and Dust Bowl by immersing himself in Greek, Latin, Spanish, French and German literature and language study, winding up in the same class as Dr. John Nash at the Princeton Graduate College. Moving to New York, he began writing and producing ads in the fledgling TV medium. For the following 35 years, he recorded sound for commercials, documentaries and features. With the demise of New York film production he switched to teaching at New York University’s Continuing and Professional Studies program, where he initiated the course in location sound recording. During this string of day jobs, he has maintained a lively interest in recordings of Renaissance and Baroque secular and liturgical music.
Russell Lichter: “I have been listening to classical music since I was a little kid. Listening to music, really listening, is an act of supreme intimacy and impeccable communication between listener, performer and composer. I have never been able to put into words the complexity and intensity of my feelings hearing Richter playing Beethoven or Michel Block playing Albéniz or Berglund conducting Sibelius. The best I can hope for as a writer is to influence others to partake of the feast.”
Bart Scribner worked in libraries, banks and publishing until he preferred not to. After squats in public buildings, he now gets paid for it — as caretaker of an abandoned power station deemed too costly to go online. Only a lighthouse would be preferable.
George Kennedy: “I was born in Hungary in 1930 and have been living in Sydney since 1957. When I arrived in Australia, I did not speak English and had to take odd jobs to make a living. Eventually I got an appointment with a large Sydney daily, The Sun, as their classical-music writer. I was with them for 16 years during which I wrote more than 500 articles. I’ve retired from my newspaper post but remain active in broadcasting. Since November, 1989, I’ve hosted a fortnightly radio program, Mastersingers, on Radio 2MBS-FM, a classical station on the air 24 hours the year round. My lifelong love affair with music started with opera when, age nine, I accompanied my parents to a performance of Carmen. Over the past 60 years I have been an ardent listener with a particular interest in the philosophy of aesthetics.”
Howard Stokar is curator and Producer of the CooperArts Series at The Cooper Union in New York. He is also Music Producer for Works and Process at the Guggenheim, and runs a management firm for composers, Howard Stokar Management.
Jerome F. Weber: “I have published Discography Series since 1970; A Gregorian Chant Discography (1990) won the ARSC Award for Excellence. Reviews of early music and sacred music have appeared in Fanfare since 1978. I have been a guest on the syndicated broadcast ‘Millennium of Music” since 1983. An annual article on chant recordings has appeared in Plainsong and Medieval Music since 1992. I have also written for Classic Record Collector, ARSC Journal, Goldberg and other periodicals. Since 1990 I have delivered papers at the conferences of Cantus Planus and have attended the American Musicological Society. I contributed articles on Discography and Recorded Sound History for The New Grove Dictionary, Second Edition, wrote a series of articles on chant for the website http://www.liturgica.com/, and produced the ‘Gregorian Chant — Early Recordings’ reissue for Parnassus Records. I served ARSC as Treasurer and later as President.”
Ralph Glasgal is a noted authority on data communications and digital networks, and has written three books and many articles on these subjects. Founder of the Ambiophonics Institute, he invented Ambiophonics in 1987 — conceived to provide concert-hall realism in the home primarily from existing recordings of classical music. Has written many AES research papers on psychoacoustics and sound recording / reproduction, as well as a book, Beyond Surround Sound to Virtual Sonic Reality (serialized on stereotimes.com). He has published many articles about high-end gear in Stereophile, Audio, The Audiophile Voice and Audio Video Interiors. Glasgal Island, just off the coast of Antarctica, has been named for him (to honor a 1957 / 58 expedition in which he took part), and he has reached the base camps of the 10 highest peaks in the world.
Steven Richman is conductor and music director of Harmonie Ensemble/New York, and the Dvořák Festival Orchestra of New York. He has conducted seven CDs, including Copland: Rarities and Masterpieces, the Grammy-nominated Stravinsky: Histoire du Soldat, and Dvořák Day Concert. Mr. Richman led benefit concerts to place a statue of Antonin Dvořák in New York City’s Stuyvesant Square Park (across the street from where Dvořák lived from 1892-95), and since 1997 has conducted the annual Dvořák Day Concert. At Lincoln Center, Mr. Richman conducted a Handel 300th Birthday Concert, a Gershwin Memorial Concert, and a Leonard Bernstein 70th Birthday Concert. Until its demise, he was a member of the Spike Jones International Fan Club.