Conductor  Martin  Pearlman

A Conversation with Bruce Duffie
 


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Born in Chicago, Illinois, May 21, 1945, Martin Pearlman received training in composition, violin, piano, and theory. He received a B.A. in 1967 from Cornell University, where he studied composition with Karel Husa and Robert Palmer and began studying harpsichord with Donald Paterson. After Cornell, Mr. Pearlman studied harpsichord with renowned harpsichordist and early music pioneer Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam on a Fulbright Grant (1967–68). In 1971, he received an M.M. in composition from Yale University, studying composition with Yehudi Wyner, working with noted harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick, and working in the electronic music studio. In 1971, he moved to Boston, where he won the Erwin Bodky competition as a harpsichordist, and began performing widely in solo recitals and concertos. He also was a prizewinner at the Festival of Flanders competition in Bruges, Belgium.

pearlman In 1973–74, he founded Boston Baroque (which was called Banchetto Musicale until 1992). With that ensemble, he has conducted many American and world period-instrument premieres of operas, choral works, and instrumental works, including Mozart operas and major works of Bach, Handel and Monteverdi. He has directed Boston Baroque in an annual subscription series in Boston, toured with the ensemble in the U.S. and Europe, and made recordings (principally for Telarc International), three of which have been nominated for Grammy awards.

With modern-instrument ensembles, Pearlman made his Kennedy Center debut conducting The Washington Opera in Handel's Semele, led the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa in the Monteverdi Vespers, and has conducted the Minnesota Orchestra, the Utah Opera, Opera Columbus, Boston Lyric Opera, San Antonio Symphony, the New World Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Alabama Symphony and others.

Pearlman is the only conductor from the period-instrument field to have performed live on the internationally televised Grammy Awards show.  [Recording shown at left is their fourth to be nominated for a Grammy]

Although conducting is his main focus, Martin Pearlman is also a successful composer, an acclaimed harpsichordist, and respected scholar.

Pearlman's work as a composer has been influenced by, among others, Carter, Boulez, and certain composers of the following generation. Recent compositions include his 3-act Finnegans Wake: an Operoar on texts by James Joyce; The Creation According to Orpheus for piano, harp and percussion soloists with string orchestra; Beethoven Fantasy on WoO77 for solo piano, and music for three Samuel Beckett plays (Words and Music, Cascando, ... but the clouds ...), commissioned by the 92nd Street Y in New York for the Beckett centennial in 2006, and produced there and at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Mr. Pearlman has also edited a new critical edition of Armand-Louis Couperin’s complete keyboard works, prepared new performing versions of Monteverdi's operas Il ritorno d'Ulisse and L'incoronazione di Poppea, and created a new orchestration and edition of Cimarosa's Il maestro di cappella.

Since 2002, he has been a Professor of Music, Historical Performance at Boston University, College of Fine Arts, where he directs Baroque ensembles and teaches in the Historical Performance department of the School of Music.

--  Names which are links refer to my Interviews elsewhere on my website.  BD  




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Late in November of 2000, Pearlman was in Chicago and graciously took time to visit my studio for a conversation.  Confident and cordial, he spoke of his career and musical ideas.  

Here is what was said at that time . . . . . . . . .


Bruce Duffie
:   Is music in danger of becoming too digitalized?

Martin Pearlman:   It’s hard to say.  I’ve never been a real ‘stereophile’ or a real ‘audiophile’.  For me it’s all an imitation of the real thing anyway.

BD:   So the live concert is ‘it’?

MP:   The live concert is ‘it’, and I do enjoy really fine audio recordings.  We record for Telarc, which is famous for its wonderful sound, and I’m delighted with the company.  They make us all sound good, but I never rely on the state of the art equipment myself.  I do know that all our recent recordings have been recorded with technology which is supposed to fill in the gaps between the bytes of information, so there’s a lot more information on these.  It fills in those gaps, and I’m told that if you hear two recordings side-by-side one of them traditional digital and the other with this new technologyeven if you’re not an audiophile, this new one will sound a little more alive.  All our recordings are in that, and they’re also now in six-track surround sound, which is something that isn’t available in people’s houses yet.  It’s only in theaters, but their feeling is it will be, and they want to be ready.  At this point there’s so much information that they’re recording that they can’t even use a traditional disc or tapes.  They record us directly onto a hard disc, and it’s interesting technology, but I’m into the eighteenth century technologythe violins and cellos and THAT technology.  

pearlman BD:   Let me try to draw a very strange parallel between this idea of the old or the very recent technology, and the newest technology as being a little better.  When we first started again to use original instruments, they sounded sort of scratchy and out of tune.  Now we have learned how to make the old instruments sound better.  Is there any kind of parallel there?

MP:   I think that’s largely people just becoming really good and really familiar with the instruments, and also becoming less doctrinaire.  It’s very important that we just say we want to make good music on these instruments, not that it’s better than something else, or it’s the right way, or it must be this particular way, because in the earlier days, sometimes what was called the ‘right way’ wasnt.  I never really subscribed to it because I’m fortunately here in America.  Although I was educated in Europe, I wasn’t a European having to do a particular style that was in vogue in certain countries.  A lot of all this which is called ‘the right way’ was just a particular view, and often a very idiosyncratic reaction to perhaps modern playing.  I don’t think that differentiation is so strong anymore.  A lot of the walls are breaking down, and when we go to play, we just try to play and make music.  We don’t say, “No, let’s sound ‘baroque!’

BD:   Are you trying to get back to the sound that the composer heard, or the sound that you want to hear?

MP:   I’m not sure there’s a difference.  I don’t know that anyone really knows what the composer heard in the first place, even if we were trying to recreate a particular performance.  I don’t try to do that.  I’m interested in learning everything I can of a time, and letting that soak into my brain and just be part of my outlook.  Then we make music, and it’s going to be influenced by that.

BD:   So it’s the intuition of a good musician?  

MP:   That’s the goal.  There’s a certain framework you create for yourself.  You don’t go beyond certain boundaries because your thinking is within a certain area, but your instincts ultimately get to be the arbiter in what you do.

BD:   Are your boundaries different than the baroque composers, or do you know?

MP:  
It’s a question of what we know, and how we know about performance.  We know a great deal from the instruments themselves, now that we’ve learned to play those.  We know what composers and others said in books, although those tend to be teaching on a rather elementary level.  We also have the experience of the music itself, which creates a world that you can work within.  That’s a lot.

BD:   But is it somewhat a skewed view because we also know what happened later?

MP:   That’s the question.  To me it’s never been an antiquarian pursuit.  I’m interested in reading about, or hearing what somebody does with trying to recreate a concert, but I personally am trying to make music.  I’m not trying to recreate a particular day in 1740.  The reason that baroque instruments and baroque performance have really become so popular and so successful is because it’s a modern interest.  It appeals to our sensibilities today, starting in the late twentieth century, and I think that’s really interesting.  It’s been one of the many ways that we react to, and like to hear music of that period.  It was a renewal of how we heard and a cleaning out of our ears.  Every so often, every generation or so, you need a new way of approaching something to just hear things over again. 

BD:   Is there something of you in each performance?

pearlman MP:   Every performance is something of the performer in any case.  There are a few people who claim they try and just let the music perform itself objectivelywhich I think is kind of a questionable ideabut even if one tried to do that, it’s all in one’s perception.  There’s no question that there’s something of the performer contained within.  But my own view is that when I approach a piece of music, I try to look at the music and react to it in an emotional way.  All of it is shaped by my experience in life, which includes my experience of studying baroque music.  So that creates the framework in which I can react.  

BD:   Is it exciting for you to come to a new baroque score, or at least a score that you haven’t done before?

MP:   Oh, sure, and it’s a challenge to come to one that I have done before.  Messiah, for example, which I’m about to do in a few weeks again, I do every year, but there has to be a constant renewal.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that this year I’m going to change this phrase or this tempo.  I don’t consciously try to do things the same or different. 

BD:   You’ve grown another a year, so the music grows another year?

MP:   Exactly, and you try to keep your ears open.  You listen to it, people are doing it, you shape it, and you react in an emotional way.  You don’t want to do ‘the same performance’ and you don’t want to do a very self-consciously different one.  You make music, and it’s most interesting in a piece like that where you have to keep doing it just to get that kind of renewal.  It’s our job as performers to really get into the music and react emotionally.

BD:   Is it ever possible to get it ‘right’?

MP:   [Laughs]  I’m not sure what that is.  There are so many different ways of approaching it.  In terms of what the composer wanted, I don’t know that most composers wanted one particular thing, anyway.  But what we are doing today in the
baroque, period, or early music performance area is very much late twentieth century and early twenty-first.  I’ve often thought that if Handel were to come alive today, and suddenly come up and say, That’s very nice what you’re doing with those period instruments, but really what I wanted was something very, very slow and soupy, most people would say, “Thank you very much, but we’ve got our way we like to do it.  We’ve developed it by studying what he did, because it really is a modern pursuit.  

BD:   But do you think he would come back and say he wants it done another way, or would he be happy with what you’re doing?

MP:   One never knows.  You’d like to think that if it were a musical performance that’s convincing, he’d be happy with it, whether or not it was what he thought.  That’s my experience with a lot of modern composers.

BD:   Including yourself?

MP:   Yes, including myself, because I do that.  When I compose and I hear those performances, I’m interested in somebody getting into the idea of a piece.  I remember talking to Elliott Carter about it once.  I was playing a piece of his, and somebody was asking him how precise he wanted the metronome markings.  He said,
I’m not worried about that!  I want the relationships of the sections to be right.  I want to make sure you understand the general sweep of the piece, and make sure you really understand how the piece flows.  He has very precise details, and those are supposed to be the clues to get us into the music, but if somebody brings something to the piece, that would be great.  That’s not uncommon among composers, and particularly with the seventeenth century when composers were performers.  They would perform probably differently every time they played because many of them were also improvisers.  I’m sure this would be very common for some of them.

BD:   Today we have improvisers in Jazz, but we seem to have lost it to a great extent in the concert music.

MP:   Yes.  Over the centuries it’s become pre-fixed.

BD:   Would you like to get back to having more freedom?

MP:   In some senses we do.  People do add and improvise ornamentation to baroque music.  When I play continuo on the harpsichord, it’s not written out.  I’m improvising it, and I will often change it depending on whether I’m trying to imitate a singer, or lead the singer to suggest things and to push them.  So there is that freedom in there, but I don’t know that we’ll ever really get back to it in a way that people use to.  Even in Bach’s day people were saying improvisation was becoming a lost art.  That’s one of the reasons Bach’s such a phenomenon because he could still really do it on the highest level. 

BD:   That’s true, and then he was dismissed by his kids and his kids’ peers!  

MP:   Yes, right!

*     *     *     *     *

BD:   Today we have the period instrument performances, and modern instrument performances, and you wind up doing both.  Tell me the joys and sorrows of going from one to the other.

pearlman MP:   I enjoy doing both.  My orchestra, Boston Baroque, performs on period instruments, and we always have.  I sometimes perform with other symphony orchestras or opera companies that use modern instruments.  Sometimes it is even some of the same music, and I enjoy doing that.  It’s a different experience.  I don’t care to go into a modern orchestra and try to make them imitate the sound of a baroque orchestra.  Your ears are open, so you shape it starting from what you have and what you hear.  That way it doesn’t become a cheap imitation of something else.  It’s music-making in its own right, and the same as if a pianist were to play Bach or some earlier music that was written for the harpsichord.  You don’t necessarily want to just imitate a harpsichord sound on the modern piano.  You want to use the capacity of the piano as well because you can’t truly imitate the harpsichord sound, or it comes out sounding like an imitation.  

BD:   Do you find the audiences react differently to early instrument performances as opposed to modern instrument performances?

MP:   I can’t recall a situation where I’ve done the same music for the same audience on both.  Very often when I do a modern instrument performance, I make a lot of tone because I know it is a different audience.  I have done some modern instrument performances in Boston, and I think people just want to hear the music.  If you get the music well shaped and interesting and exciting, they like it.  Boston Baroque has become pretty much mainstream in Boston.  It’s not something unusual to do period instrument performances, and our audience tend to be a real cross-section.  It’s not early music aficionados necessarily, although they are in the audience.  We have a lot of people who go to the Boston Symphony and to the opera and other things, so these are people that are coming to hear the music.  We don’t make a huge point about it.  People know these are period instruments, so that’s not our big selling-point.

BD:   What is your big selling-point?

MP:   The music and the performance.  People get to like the performances, and they’ll come back.  That’s the idea.  When people liked the recordings, they’ve sold very well and they compete in the market place with modern instrument performances, not just in the early music world, and that’s great. 

BD:   Do you play differently for the microphone than you do for a live audience?

MP:   I try not to.  The job of the recording engineers is to capture what we do.  Once in a while you have to make a little adaptation.  The hall where we record often exaggerates the bass, so the cellos might have to play a little more lightly.  But you’d have to do that in a hall anyway if you had a hall that did that.  But people don’t sing down necessarily or play very differently.  We try to capture the sound.

BD:   Tell me the joys and sorrows of working with the human voice.

MP:   I love working with the human voice.  I’ve never been one of these early music conductors who tries to get a white sound, a vibrato-less sound out of a singer.  I don’t want to have singers to feel straight-jacketed by being forced to sound as whatever the concept of early music is.  I want to hire people whose voices I like and who are compatible with what I do, and then let them sing.  They aren’t always by any means early music specialists.  I have people who sing with the Metropolitan Opera sometimes, and with many other opera companies or symphonies.

BD:   They bring a freshness to your performances?

MP:   I think so.  Obviously, these are people who I think will work with what we do.  A case in point is recent recording we did of Gluck’s opera Iphigenie in Tauris, and Christine Goerke is singing the title role.  She’s a fabulous soprano who does sing with the Met and elsewhere.  Hers is not what some people would call an ‘early music voice’, and that’s one of the strengths of the recording.  It’s a beautiful sound, and it worked very well with what we do.  It’s a baroque orchestra, and with the singers in my chorus who are chosen to go with the orchestra, it brings a real power to the work.  One can adapt, and I certainly wouldn’t want to hire a singer like that and tell her she must sing differently from the way she normally sings.  I hired her because I thought the way she sings would be great for this role, and with us.

pearlman BD:   So you’re pleased with it?  [Vis-à-vis the recording shown above, see my Interview with Rodney Gilfrey.]

MP:   Yes.  I love her voice, and the recording came out very well.  It’s been very successful.

BD:   Are you pleased with most of your recordings?

MP:   [Wistfully]  You can’t be pleased with your own work all the time.  I don’t often listen to recordings of mine.  It’s usually six months before I can listen to a recording of mine, and not be listening for tiny details.

BD:   I assume you have to hear it once and approve it?

MP:   Yes, exactly.  I listen to the edits and make suggestions.  I like to listen to certain recordings more than others.  I like to listen to our recording of early American Moravian music, or Moravian Church music, because where else are you going to hear that?  And it’s very beautiful music.  With others it’s a snapshot in time.  It’s what you did in a particular moment and you’re moving on.  I recorded Messiah and the Brandenburgs years ago, and they continue to sell very well.  But when I perform Messiah or the Brandenburgs now, they’re a little different.  You’re moving on, but that’s okay.  That’s what recordings are all about.

BD:   Should you warn the public that it won’t sound like the record you heard at home?

MP:   Oh, no, no, no!  It’s the same business as what I was saying before about composers hearing their own work.  As long as it’s a performance that works and is good to the music, I’m happy to let it be heard.

BD:   I understand but is the public under-aware of these changes?

MP:   People who hear them both might be, but I don’t see that any warning is necessary.  If the performance works, it works, and doesn’t need a warning.

BD:   What do you expect of the audience that comes to hear one of your performances?

MP:    I would like them to listen, and I would like to involve them.  I often will talk to an audience in a concert beforehand.  Sometimes, particularly certain repertoire needs the audience to relax about it.  It’s unfamiliar music and explaining it or creating a relationship with them will help.  But otherwise I would like to think that the performance will speak to people.

BD:   We’ve kind of danced around it, so let me ask a real easy question.  What’s the purpose of music?

MP:   The purpose of music?  That’s the easy question!  [Laughs]  I think it’s different for everybody, and what other people hear is one of the great mysteries about music.  For me it’s a world I love to live in.  I feel relationships of the notes almost in a mystical sense.  The relationship they create ends up in a mystical spark where it takes on a life beyond the mathematical relationship.  It has a kind of beauty, and creates that kind of emotional expression.  There are people in the audience who tend to want to hear the same works they know.  Perhaps it has to do with the fact that music is so abstract that it’s sometimes difficult to get used to something unfamiliar.  But I want to take people there.  I want to take people into the unfamiliar because you listen in a different way, and in a fresh way.  But exactly what someone else is hearing in music, I don’t know, and I don’t know if there is any way to know, except that what I’d like to think is that people hear it, they react, they get emotion, they get emotionally moved by it, and come back for more.

BD:   Does it surprise you what they come away with?  If they come backstage and tell you they heard this or that, and liked this or that, and you were unaware that you’d done those specifics?

MP:   That happens often, and I love it.  There’s no one answer, just as there’s no answer about exactly how a piece must be performed.  People talk about a definitive performance, but there is no such thing.  There’s no definitive way to hear a piece, and any composer knows that.  There are all kinds of analyses of composers’ works that mention things that the composer never thought of, but he might think,
My goodness, that’s true.  That’s in there!  There’s a world in this music in relationships that they’re createdsome of them intentionally, some of them unintentionally.  Sometimes you don’t even think they’re there, and somebody else will bring them to the piece.  Then it takes on a life of its own.

*     *     *     *     *

BD:   Let’s talk a bit about your compositions.  When you
re writing, are you creating something new, or are you discovering something that has it’s own way and you put together?

MP:   I don’t know that there is any such thing as creating something new.  We always like to think of it that way.  Nowadays, newness or novelty is almost a requisite to be able to sell something, so people will always talk about the newness of something and how it’s the latest thing.  It’s funny... until the eighteenth century
which is the middle of the period that I often performnovelty was often considered a pejorative word.  You could dismiss something by saying, It’s a novelty.  [Both laugh]  So really you’re taking about what you’ve heard.  Even this radical composer John Cage is a classical composer as opposed to some other genre because, either by reaction or by osmosis, he grew out of that tradition.  He may be totally reacting against something, but he relates it to that tradition.  So that relation is always there.  When I’m composing, I try to find something deep inside.  That’s not out of nowhere.  That’s formed by all kinds of instances, including your own personality, which adds a new element to it.  So it’s a very complex combination of things.

pearlman BD:   Would you ever try to write something in the baroque style because you’re so steeped in it?

MP:   People ask me that all the time, and I have always said,
“No, it’s not my style.  Actually I have hardly done anything that involved baroque instruments.  I’ve written a few pieces for harpsichord because that’s my instrument, but my style doesn’t really lend itself to that very well.  Very influential composers for me are Boulez and Elliott Carter.  Theirs is very emotional music that way.  It’s quite different from baroque, but it’s not without influence.  You spend so much time in their world that you’re influenced by it.  My relationship to the bass line shows certain ideas have formed by being peer-related, but it’s subliminal.  You wouldn’t listen to it and say, “This is somebody that does baroque music.

BD:   There seems to be a generality that may or may not be true that the new music audience and the baroque music audience overlap quite a bit, and have a lot of common factors, leaving a big gaping hole in the romantic period.  Would you want to have some of baroque music and also some of the newest pieces on the same concert?

MP:   We talked about that a number of years ago in my orchestra, and decided
I think wiselythat there would be too much of a confusion entity.  We found that although there are overlaps in the audienceand certainly even more overlaps among musiciansthat the audiences essentially are different.  There are just too many people in each audience that would be just sitting through an obligation by listening to the other style.  I love to do contemporary music, but it’s not for our concerts.  When I go to hear concerts, that’s the way I prefer to listen to them.  I prefer to listen to a contemporary concert or a baroque concert.

BD:   Would it be surprising for the audience to find you turning up on contemporary concerts?

MP:   [Laughs]  Well, I have done it.  There may be a certain number of people who expect me to play in a baroque style or have written in a baroque style, so I’m not sure whether it is for the same audience.

BD:   Would you form a different group, maybe call it Boston New Baroque?  [Both laugh]

MP:   One of the influences of composing on the baroque playing
which is the opposite to the question you askedis that it makes every baroque piece new in a sense.  When I come to a piece, I don’t necessarily see it as a given.  I feel it as something that could have gone a different direction at every moment.  You feel that creative process, and so when you feel that a piece isn’t set in stone but a composer could have gone this way instead, it makes it a little bit more improvisatory, a little bit more alive and not a monument.  It is not inevitable to me when I perform, even something as monumental and as much of an icon as Messiah.  Certainly, for Handel it was not a piece fixed in stone.  He changed it every time.  He even re-wrote it, and left us a bunch of different versions!  One needs to feel the different directions one can go, and composing keeps it alive for me.

BD:   Are you optimistic about the future of baroque music performance?

MP:   You always hear pessimistic views of, that classical music is disappearing.  Certainly, there’s a problem in the marketplace right now, and perhaps more in the recording industry than even in any performance.  But it’s always there for people that want it, and it always will be.  It’ll go up and down at different times.  There is a problem with music education right now.  It doesn’t create the audiences, which is something we have to deal with, but music isn’t going to disappear.


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BD:   Are you optimistic about the future of music composition and new music?

MP:   There’s always the impulse to compose among those who will do it.  What direction it will go, it’s impossible to say.  The split between audience and composer is breaking down a little bit at this point.  I guess composition has become a little more conservative.  It’s hard to say, but am I optimistic about the music?  Yes!  But about the business of music it’s hard to say.  There are moments when the business is very rough, when certain groups go out of business and there is a lot less performance, but it will always be there.  There’ll always be periods of renewal and periods of recreation, so I guess that’s to say that I am optimistic.  I don’t think it’s disappearing. 

BD:   What advice do you have for the composers these days?

MP:   I can’t give advice because everyone’s different.  People need to just be true to themselves, and not only compose for the marketplace.

BD:   [With a gentle nudge]  Should every composer have a baroque ensemble to conduct?  

MP:   [Roars laughing]  I hope not!  I’m not sure that I could fundraise enough for my own group if they did!  

BD:   What advice do you have for people who want to perform baroque music?

MP:   Again, I’m not sure that advice is necessary.  People are doing it a lot, and it’s a different world to get into from the one that existed when I started.  Years ago there were no early music orchestras to listen to, either on recording or live
or hardly any anyway, and certainly no one in this country.  One had to go to the original source material, and the first generation of teachers to find out anything about it.  Nowadays you can go into any record store and get all kinds of recordings, and get it into your ears if you want to, instead of going through books.  So people are hearing it.  It’s much more in people’s ears, which is a great thing.  More and more performers seem to be doing both modern and baroque, and that really keeps things very much alive.

pearlman BD:   So they should exist side by side?

MP:   Well, I can’t say ‘should’.  I know some very fine performers on baroque instruments that don’t play modern instruments, just as I know modern players who are very fine, who don’t play baroque.  But I find it very lively among the players who do both, and I wish the conservatories would treat baroque performance not as a specialty to go into necessarily, but as an angle of playing that every player should be exposed to, just as they’re exposed to contemporary music.

BD:   You want it to be ordinary?

MP:   Mainstream!

*     *     *     *     *

BD:   Are you pleased with where you are this point in your career?

MP:   Boston Baroque is going very well.  We’ve been doing a lot of recordings.

BD:   When did you found the ensemble?

MP:   In 1973/74, so we are in our twenty-seventh season [as the interview took place in November, 2000].  It was the first period instrument orchestra in America, and our recordings have been now going all over the world.  We’ve been getting Grammy nominations, and lots of good sales and reviews, so that’s worked very well.  And the concerts are going well.  At this point I’m more interested in going out and doing more work with other ensembles.  I’ve been doing it with the ones that asked me, and now I’m more aggressively pursuing that.  So, one is always developing and wanting to keep things alive, so there are always little changes and reinventions.  That’s where I am at this point.

BD:   Besides the Telarc recordings, are there some on other labels?  

MP:   There are a few older ones from the days before we changed our name, when it was called Banchetto Musicale [example shown at right].  We’ve recorded one of Mozart on Harmonia Mundi, and we recorded a few things for other labels which are no longer available.  I’d rather people hear the Telarcs because they represent more our current playing.

BD:   But the older ones are part of you, and part of your history?

MP:   Yes.

BD:   One last question.  Is performing music fun?

MP:   Yes, it’s fun but it’s much more.  It’s a part of life.  It’s a way of life for me.  It’s a world in which I live, and obviously it’s a kind of expression.  It’s a form of beauty that one can be involved in every day, and takes one deep inside oneself.  One has to reach that point all the time, and that’s the challenge, which is also a wonderful thing, so I enjoy it.  It is fun but it’s also a great deal more.

BD:   Thank you for all the music and all the recordings, and thank you for the conversation.

MP:   Thank you.



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© 2000 Bruce Duffie

This conversation was recorded in Chicago on November 30, 2000.  Portions were broadcast on WNIB the following year.  This transcription was made in 2017, and posted on this website at that time.  My thanks to British soprano Una Barry for her help in preparing this website presentation.

To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.

Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001.  His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM.

You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests.  He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago.  You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.