My low-end friend Matt Heller (hellafrisch blog, New World Symphony) was recently featured in a New York Times article titled The Face-The-Music Academy by Daniel J. Wakin. This article is an in-depth look at Miami’s New World Symphony program, and it is a must-read for anyone who considers themselves a classical music fan.
Matt mentioned back in the fall that he would be highlighted in this article, and this is certainly the case. The trials and tribulations of the audition process are highlighted in this article quite vividly, and it is great to see Matt as the main character in this vignette. The New World Symphony is a unique program, and it is portrayed quite well in this article.
I’m not sure that I would ever characterize Matt’s playing as “an elephant running sprints”, for Matt has great musicality and polish in his playing. He and I were roommates at several summer festivals (he was there for the You Play Solo…I Dance! story in Germany and the I Fly Plane! story in Russia), and I have always been extremely impressed by his double bass playing and great musicianship.
For a while it looked as if Matt had retired his excellent blog hellafrisch, but in recent months he came back to it and is better than ever. Matt is a very perceptive and literate writer (I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without a book in his hands, and it’s never a Tom Clancy book), and I look forward to reading his posts as soon as they come out.
He recently wrote a post containing some thoughts and clarifications on the NYT article, and these are definitely worth checking out after reading the original piece. Matt has been writing a lot in general on his blog these days, so check out some of his other posts like sightreading Strauss and burning bridges and “Live from Miami Beach!”
A former New World Symphony member also wrote a blog post offering commentary on the NYT article. Check it out–it offers another perspective on this very interesting program.