Today we honor Maureen Snead — sister, mother, friend

  This weekend our extended family is gathering to honor the life of our sister, Maureen Snead, who passed away on April 8th of this year. Today at her Celebration of Life, I read a little (okay, it’s long for “little”) thank-you note I penned. It’s not a eulogy or an obituary — it’s a … Read more

Cinematic Bliss: the Korngold Violin Concerto

I was driving when I heard Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto the first time. It was a library CD I’d just borrowed, back in the days when most cars had a CD or cassette player and you could borrow handfuls of new music from the library. I was trundling down our hill in the Santa … Read more

Easter “Messiah” or Christmas “Messiah” – which one are you?

Confession: it never crossed my mind that people listened to Handel’s 1741 Messiah as an Advent or Christmas seasonal thing until I was an adult attending classical music events on a regular basis. I myself listen to it around Easter, because, well, that’s how I grew up hearing it. It was a family thing in … Read more

The elusive Sylphide lands in San Francisco

San Francisco Ballet’s Program 4, opening on Tuesday March 15, brings something elusive and wonderful to the stage in the form of two ballets, La Sylphide and Alexei Ratmansky’s The Seasons. Both hold an element of “Oh, finally!” and both help celebrate and commemorate this, artistic director Helgi Tomasson’s 37th and final season at the helm … Read more

Melting into Léo Delibes’ “Flower Duet”

        Initially, I only knew composer Léo Delibes for his ballet scores, the 1870 Coppélia and his 1876 Sylvia. I’m a ballet person, after all. I’ve been aware of the beautiful aria from the British Airways and Ghirardelli chocolate commercials in that I-know-it-but-not-its-name-or-its-composer way, but I didn’t figure out until recently that it’s taken from … Read more