A High School Reunion

We eagerly anticipate them; and we dread them.  Reunions have the potential of stirring up old feelings of insecurity & resentment of long-forgotten cliques, but also the power to re-activate dormant friendships and stimulate new ideas.  For better and for worse, high school is a crucible, a culmination of the attitudes, behaviors, ethics, and responsibilities […]

A Concert Tour in Europe

I’m now in my late-50s, and the romanticism of playing music in Europe is still yet to wear thin. As a kid, I often fantasized about seeing, hearing, and (mostly) playing the great and glorious organs of Europe. True confessions: American organs have rarely held the same appeal to me – except to the extent […]

Playing in Poland

1679 Wolff organ in Pelplin

Gdansk will surprise you. The historic center has been re-constituted to its Renaissance appearance (so that it is somewhat reminiscent off the great city of Amsterdam) even though it witnessed complete destruction in 1945. A 40-minute train ride south takes you to Pelplin – a rather insignificant village (from a tourist’s point of view) with […]

Playing in France

I keep oscillating back and forth about whether it’s better or worse to discover the secrets of French music in conditions of extreme heat. Having just played a concert at the cathedral of Montpellier, where the outside temperature was in the upper 90s, and the temperature at the organ was in the mid-80s, I went […]

Rehearsing and Performing

While it seems very obvious to anyone who performs as a musician, either professionally or as an amateur, I don’t think that everyone else is aware of the vast difference between performing and practicing. Probably at least once each month, someone expresses shock that I – having made music professionally for forty years – need […]


It was truly a unique opportunity. A set of symphony concerts, in the regular subscription series, opening with 14 minutes of solo organ music. I can’t think of any time I’ve heard of that happening in a major concert hall in this country. When I was asked if I was available and interested in doing […]

From Yale to Cambridge and Back

Ten weeks ago I made music in the most famous, and ancient, musical space in the Christian world:  King’s College, Cambridge.  Sitting on the organ screen, I felt humbled to realize that it was constructed in celebration of the marriage of King Henry VIII to Ann Boleyn.  Their initials are carved into the screen just […]

If I had One Week Left to Live

Life is about balance: work and play, arguments and lovemaking, taking in and giving back, the expansion of travel and the concentration of being at home. I try to live my life in such a way that these two poles are always in balance. As a consequence, I don’t believe that I would feel a […]

The Future of CDs

The following is taken from my final review which I wrote for the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians.  It gives my ideas about the future of the recording industry. This is my last CD column for the AAM Journal. I’ve greatly enjoyed the process of writing reviews, listening to CDs, and consulting with […]

Playing Bach


Much has been written about Bach – with new biographies coming out nearly every year.  When going about writing something about Bach, what can one say that hasn’t been said many times already?   Very little, most likely, that the average attender at an All-Bach organ recital would not already know. So I opt to […]