My views represent how I react to a performance of a musical composition; or how I react to a biography of a composer, or to a performIMG_0373ance of an Opera. As such, my views are the sum total of my musical background. Sure… “my views” likely represent things I have learned from more than 70 years of enjoying music. These views may include things that my father taught me years ago, and have been consciously long forgotten. As such, they are my current opinions; surely these can change, particularly as this Blog gathers the response that you, the visitor, may have to things I have written.

hank_kusp_boardMusic has been part of my life from my earliest childhood. When I was 7 years old, I started to play the violin. At 14, I studied with an excellent teacher for one year in Vienna. When I arrived in New York City, I attended the Manhattan School of Music.

My Radio career began in 1993, when I hosted a Sunday Classical program at KBOQ in Monterey. And currently, I have been a guest-host at radio station KUSP, which is a National Public Radio station for the California Central Coast. I have programmed and DJ’d  KUSP’s show, “A Classic Example”, which runs on Wednesdays from 7 to 9:30 PM. I share with the KUSP listeners a music program that has diversity of musical styles, spans a creative period of more than 200 years, and often introduces the listener to new instrumental performers.

I have also been an orchestral and chamber music performer. I have performed as a member of several orchestras in New York, Minneapolis, and in San Jose, California. I founded a Piano trio group, and we performed chamber music for our own enjoyment and for our friends, as was done back in the 1800’s before movies and Television were invented.

I have studied the life of many great composers. I feel that musical compositions  often reflect the key events that took place in a composer’s life. To understand that music better, I feel that it is an advantage in knowing the personal triumphs and tragedies in the composer’s life. As an example, I have been a student of Gustav Mahler’s life for many years. In his early life he experienced the death of several brothers and sisters at an early age. Small wonder that in his compositions we hear funeral marches and “Songs on the Death of Children”.

My musical “taste” includes the old Gregorian Chants and related religious works that were performed mostly in churches in the old times. I also enjoy the music of the Baroque, Classical, and the so-called “Romantic – period” that emerged from the 1500’s to the late 1800’s. And, of course, we have the music of the modern era composed in the early 1900’s to the present. Some of my favorites are Mahler, Edward Elgar, Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky, and Benjamin Britten.

What all of music has in common is its survivability. Mozart was born in 1756. Think of it: his music is still performed and adored by millions of people world-wide more than 250 years later…