For years, I posted longer-form journal entries. Here are some select samples from that decade, for your enjoyment.

South America

Dear Readers, Here I am again, in an airport, on the floor, my legs stretched out in front of me, my back leaning against the back of someone else’s seat. Not the most comfortable setup, but the only one with a power outlet close to the gate. I’m not sure whether my flight is delayed (read more…)


Dear Readers, I am sitting in a European airline lounge. It is ten o’clock on the dot, and the small breakfast buffet offers a full bar. I don’t see anyone drinking yet, though. I wonder why they provide alcohol so early in the morning. Perhaps it is for those who have been up all night, (read more…)

Lounge Life

Dear Readers, Good heavens. I’m stuck in an airport again. This time I’m in Manchester. My flight is delayed. I was hoping to sleep soon, on the airplane, but instead I’m sitting in a lounge – ok, not too shabby; it has snacks and a power outlet – with my computer, a glass of water, (read more…)

Very Nice Places to Work

Dear Readers, My shoe got stuck in a crack in the stage last night. Not for long, not badly stuck, but just long enough that I wondered what would have happened had I not been able to yank myself free in the course of a single stride. A collision? A crash? A comedic moment? I’m (read more…)

Masks and Mysteries

Dear Readers, Greetings from Japan! I think a plague may have hit Mibu – in our concert tonight, when I looked out at the hall, at least a third of the audience was wearing medical face masks. I’m not sure whether or not everyone wearing a mask was ill, but the overall visual effect was (read more…)

Falling Off Stages

Dear Readers, I have a sneaking suspicion that one day I will fall off of a stage. I don’t know where or when, or what the circumstances might be, but I find it difficult to believe that I will make it to old age without once losing my footing and plummeting into the audience. This (read more…)


Dear Readers, It’s crunch time. Financial instability is beginning to force concert presenters and orchestras to cancel previously solid shows and tours and renegotiate contracts. Smaller organizations are in danger of folding. Friends of mine in arts fields more shaky than classical music have already seen gigs dry up, and others are drawing up backup (read more…)

And Automobiles

Dear Readers, Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be frugal. I had great hopes for today. Instead of paying a considerable fee last week to change my departure city from Philadelphia to Newark and going through the hassle of figuring out a new schedule, I decided to take the train to Philadelphia to stick with my (read more…)

Rain, rain

Dear Readers, I’m in Philadelphia at the moment to work on a new violin concerto by Jennifer Higdon; we’re running it through with the Curtis (my and Jennifer’s alma mater) Orchestra to make sure all of the notes are in the right places and it sounds like everyone has imagined it would. The premieres aren’t (read more…)


Dear Readers, Lucky again! I’m sitting in a 4-seat row that I snagged right after everyone had finished boarding this plane from Geneva to Newark. It’s all mine. Four seats to stretch out on – I won’t have to curl up to sleep, just avoid a few seatbelt anchors which will try to dig into (read more…)

Off – September 2, 2008

Dear Readers, …And I’m off. Off vacation, off and running, off for another season on the road, hopping back and forth between continents like some sort of international bunny rabbit. (Thankfully, hopping is where the comparison ends.) Travel-wise, this trip got off to a good start: on the first flight, I was bumped up to (read more…)

Tokyo, Japan

Dear Readers, Of all the extra noises I’ve heard in a concert, the most unusual and unexpected occurred tonight. Unusual because it happened out of its natural context. Unexpected because Japan is the one of the most polite places I’ve been in my travels. But maybe I’m missing something? No one else in the hall (read more…)

Copenhagen, Denmark

Dear Readers, Today was a good day. I got my own TV show! Don’t get too excited – or roll your eyes – I know I’ll probably never host my own TV gig. What I mean is I was the sole guest on a Danish late-night interview show – and I actually got to play (read more…)

Torino, Italy

Dear Readers, I’m all kinds of sore right now! My recital in Torino has just ended, and I’m in an echo chamber of a dressing room, feeling the effects of a tilted stage. That’s pretty common in Italy: a stage so angled that a marble would roll quickly into the audience if placed on the (read more…)

Lyon, France

Dear Readers, Today’s an official day off, but how administrative this life can be! I’ve spent the past couple of hours doing interviews for the upcoming European release of the Schoenberg/Sibelius album, and now I’m sitting at a desk in a hotel room overlooking the city of Lyon, putting off entering my intimidating inbox and (read more…)