New Mac

Over the last few days I went out and bought a new Mac. It is definitely speeding things up. My old one was really starting to limit what I could do. The episodes may be more frequent. I will hopefully be more active on the blog. I may try some other things as well.

I really appreciate how everyone is so patient.


  1. I just found this podcast and website. I always enjoyed classical music. When I was a student, my mother worked for a company that held season tickets to the Baltimore Symphony, but never used them. She’d bring them home and I’d go with my buddies. Then, when I hit age 40, I decided to learn to play a string instrument. There is a small out of the way shop in Baltimore that sells instruments. I started handing around that shop at lunch time. After a bit, I bought a fair-quality new cello. I signed up for lessons at the Peabody Conservatory and was assigned to the Assistant Principal Cellist at the BSO. She invited me to her house and for months I learned to play. For reasons unrelated to the cello, I had to forego the lessons after those first months, but I’ve never stopped loving the cello. I weasled my way into the Library of Congress backroom where they store their collection of classic instruments. I got the archivist to take my picture holding a Stradivarius. There are several venues for chamber music in Baltimore, and my alma mater, the University of Maryland, also schedules performances. The Guaneri Quartet is in residence there. You play extremely well. I’m wading through your podcasts and so far, I haven’t heard you give the history of your instrument. What is your background; i.e., where and how did you learn to play? Here is a last bit about me: I made a cold-email message to the great Cello Historian and Virtuoso Dmitri Markevitch, which he was kind enough to return. We took up a correspondence that was extremely rewarding. Before his recent death, he had accumulated the largest collection of Cello scores in the world. I asked if he’d like some of the stuff from the Library of Congress collection and he said, “no, John, I’m sure I have all that.” I dug into the LOC archive and found what I thought were some pretty obscure pieces. To his surprise, he only had about 75% of what I found. I took to sending him packages – he lived in Switzerland – of the ones he didn’t have. About two or three years ago, I had another package ready when I read in the Strad that he’d died. The University of North Carolina at Greensborough had a collection of scores and other cello-related material, and they made a serious bid to acquire Dmitry’s collection, but I understand that it went to a Swiss location. I asked the man in charge at Greensboro if he had any interest in my correspondence with Mr. Markevitch; he did. Off went a copy of my letters to and from (having the “to’s” is one advantage of email). Keep recording, sir! -J.W.Trotz

  2. Thank you for that wonderful reply. It is great that you have such an interest in cello repertoire. Please comment more in the future.


  3. Hey Luke, what do you think of the Andante Cantabile by Tchaikovsky for an episode sometime? I’m learning it now and it must be one of the most beautiful pieces ever written.

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