Category Archives: Books & Literature

TSO Thais: via Massenet & Anatole France

The Toronto Symphony concert performance of Thaïs, recently released on Chandos, has me wishing we could see & hear more from Jules Massenet, the opera’s composer.  I begin to understand why the late Stuart Hamilton in his time with Opera … Continue reading

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Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough

I read Mary Trump’s book yesterday. I couldn’t put it down, and no that’s not just a figure of speech. I confess it did take me past midnight, reading 200+ pages, skipping nothing, re-reading a few key passages. We bought … Continue reading

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An omen

On my visit today my mother asked me to bring her a book from another room, which she was going to read later.  And then she pulled out something else and started to read to me in Hungarian, asking me … Continue reading

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Walking the University of Toronto Campus Guide

I shouldn’t have needed a book to wake me up to the nuances & subtleties of my many connections to the University of Toronto. But it’s a bit like a family album, these beautiful pictures of loved ones to remind … Continue reading

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The last three

When we speak of old films we’re usually looking at images of performers who died long ago. Some died young like Marilyn Monroe or James Dean. Some had long full lives like Jimmy Stewart or Ginger Rogers. There was a … Continue reading

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A Beethoven discovery, aided by my dog

I’m framing this analysis around Sam my dog. She’s a 13+ year old rescue, and in my opinion amazingly well-behaved. Sometimes she’ll occupy the ottoman beside the piano, allowing her to read along with me if she so desires (no … Continue reading

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An agnostic musing about leadership & talent

As I was tidying my office today, I fell into a book. You know how it is. You open it and are seduced or abducted, suddenly lost to yourself, deep in the book. While Jim Fisher’s The Thoughtful Leader: A … Continue reading

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Douglas Chambers: The Reinvention of the World

I have been stuck on this one for awhile, not knowing quite what to write. I’m trying to avoid being a downer, but it’s hard to see the silver lining when you’re deep in the dark clouds of a pandemic. … Continue reading

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Disturbance in the Force: a Natural Experiment with Audiences

With all the performers, musicians, artists social distancing at home, you might think that this is an opportunity, that they’d be busy singing, strumming, painting…. All that time to create, right? Yet it’s not what I hear on social media. … Continue reading

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“If you build it they will come” revisited, or Field of Dreams in 2020

I was looking for an uplifting bit of escapism. Field of Dreams is a film that I’ve always loved. It still moved me when I saw it this weekend but now in a totally new way. One of the small … Continue reading

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