About the author
What is early music? I give my non-music friends the short and simple answer, “Music written before the 19th century and performed in a historically informed fashion on period instruments.” Music friends know there really is no simple answer for this. 19th century music is now performed on period instruments, period instruments are used in contemporary music and so on. I like to avoid the debate and just enjoy the music.
I’ve been enjoying it for quite a while. I’ve worked in the music business for most of my adult life and I discovered early music when I was a teenager. I hoarded recordings by the New York Pro Musica and would hit the Record Hunter on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in New York the day any new recording by Gustav Leonhardt and the Leonhardt Consort was released. Those were gorgeous packages from the Telefunken label with lavish booklets containing photographs of the old instruments Leonhardt and his group played, as well as facsimile scores of the music. Leonhardt and Harnoncourt are gone, but a new generation of early music stars keep the fires burning.
I’m going to regularly share my thoughts on the subject. Why should anyone care? I was a marketing executive for three record labels—including the now defunct PGM Recordings, an early music label. I’m also a freelance writer specializing in classical music. I was the founder of Early Music America Magazine’s reviews column and was the reviews editor for almost a dozen years. I also wrote feature stories for the magazine, my last was a 2010 article comparing various recordings of Monteverdi’s Vespro Della Beata Vergine . I was also a regular contributor to the brilliant but, sadly, defunct Goldberg Early Music Magazine (what is it with me and companies that die?). My thoughts on early music have also appeared in Gramophone, Fanfare, Time Out New York and other publications. I was the editor of Sony’s Ariama, a classical music site where I wrote about other kinds of music. Sony closed Ariama a while ago, so I moved on to an arts venue in New York City.
As you can see, I’m not shy about sharing my opinions. You do the same. Let me know what you think.