Candid Interview

I was recently interviewed by one of those applications that find you on social networks.

Pepsi or Coke?
It depends on the rum.

Love is great, but I'd also marry for...
the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam.

If you had a pet elephant, what would you name it?

Nick and Jessica could've worked things out if...
he hadn't been born a trilobite-eating cephalopod in the Ordovician Period and she a plains-dwelling indricothere in the Miocene. Such tricks of fate can doom even a love as deep as theirs.

Hello, Hi, or Hey?
Ni hao.

The key to success is...
in a very safe place where it's not likely to be disturbed.

I think I saw Carmen Sandiego in...
a Beitou hot spring, signing for towels with Lara Croft.

What will be your last words?
This reboot had better work.

Twitter or MySpace?
But I hardly know you.

What do you think you'll name your kids?
Wonder Girl 1,
Wonder Girl 2,
Wonder Girl 3,
Wonder Girl 4,
and Wonder Girl 5. After their mothers.

Nothing, I repeat, nothing, is getting between me and my...
tendency to repeat myself.

If I were pregnant, I'd probably crave...
a C-section before the real trouble starts.

I shower in the...
Feng Shui fountain at Taipei 101.

I believed in Santa Claus until I was...
told by a yeti that they'd eaten him years ago.

Love or lust?
Not sure. Could you ask me again in my other ear?

Girls go to Mars to get more...
superoxide anions and nitrogen gas.

What's your favorite jellybean flavor?
Navel of Wei Tang.

Who do you take after? Mom or Dad?
A deity in the form of a swan.

What's your favorite cheese?
Bruckheimer cheese. Cameron is too stinky and Emmerich is just foul.

Naked food fights are...
a great way to boost concert attendence.

What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
Wonder whether this present trend should continue. 

Why do Canadians enjoy blogging so much?
It's either that or moose-tipping.

What is your favorite word?

God is...
as God does.

How many people have you dated?
Enough to know it's a bad sign when she brings her invisible friend.

Ever broken a bone?
No, but I've dented a euphonium.

Would you make out with the last person who visited your blog?

You obviously missed the last Taiwan blog party.

I know it's time to clean the fridge when...
the cheese mold has evolved into a sentient life form with opposable thumbs.

If I were the first person to land on the moon, I would've said:
'Houston, Rhapsody Base here. The Gershwin has landed.'

If I were a super hero, my super suit would be made out of...
platinum. Then I could sell it on eBay and take the Catwoman shopping for lingerie.

How many Facebook users have you kissed?
Facebook users don't kiss. They suck face.

The answer to the ultimate question is...
'No comment.'

What will your wedding band be made out of?
Two trumpets, I think, with horn, trombone, and tuba.

Are you a 'glass half-full' or 'glass half-empty' person?
I never do anything half-glassed.

I squeeze my toothpaste from the...

Which side is your good side?
If you have to ask, you're not on it.

What would your clown name be?
Bopo Mofo.

What's the worst movie you've ever seen?
My Dinner with O. J.

Quick! Make up a number (example: eleventy seven).
Hoo-doo-win da-two-wa, skiddly-bop.

What are the odds that this interview never ends and is just a psych experiment?
I never give odds on ends.

How old were you when you had your first date?
Not sure, but it was a lunch rendez-vous. We ate paste.

If I woke up as the opposite sex, I'd...
throw my arms around me and give myself a hickey.

What question should they ask Miss Universe contestants?
Present a ten-point plan for achieving world peace.

What question would you ask God?
Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann. Did they ever... ?

I feel at peace when...
I'm torturing accordion players with scorpions and thumbscrews.

Bikini, Tankini, or Linguini?

What do you wish you had never done?
Accept my roommate's dare to walk up to that Virginia Tech linebacker and tell him I enjoyed his mother's performance in Girls Gone Wild.

What's your least favorite thing about the Coriolis Effect?
The vector formula for calculating the magnitude and direction of the Coriolis acceleration. I mean, who needs that?

What's your favorite blues lyric?
Woke up this mornin'. Of course, it's more interesting with the lyrics that come after it.

Would you rather own a dog named Growler or a parrot named Captain?
A tyrannosaur named Eater of Interviewers.

What should you really be doing right now?
Lying on a beach in Kenting.

Automatic or stick shift?
Mini Cooper or Lamborghini?

The sitcom about my life would be named...
Face the Music.

Would you rather meet your future in-laws naked or in bondage gear?
I guess I would rather they were naked.

Quick! Write the first sentence of a novel.
It was the best of hair days, it was the worst of hair days.

I want my last meal to be...
a Guiness-record submarine sandwich.

Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin?
Hey. Watch your language.

What's your favourite kids' cereal?
Lucky Charms. Great with Bailey's.

What's the most recent dream you remember having?
A nightmare. I was answering an interminable series of questions on some stupid social network.

I wouldn't mind being stuck in a closet with...
Juliette Binoche, two goblets, and an open bottle of Pinot Noir.

Why are there so many zombies on the Internet?

What celebrity do people say you look like?

I wonder about...
the best way to finish this sentence.

Sedan, compact, or sports car?

Do you play any instruments?
I had an ocarina lesson once.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no...
cognitive functioning and vocal apparatus sufficiently evolved to enable him to describe his lack of hirsute qualities in words. This inability, though considered an impairment in the species Homo sapiens, is characteristic of ursine species such as the one to which Mr Wuzzy  belonged. His remarkable dermatological predicament thus never came to the attention of neurologist Oliver Sacks, was never spotlighted in a subsequently celebrated case study, and was consequently overlooked by composer Michael Nyman as a subject for chamber opera.

I feel naked without my...

Which sport is the best to watch?
Golf. Ha ha. Just kidding.

If your house was on fire, what one possession would you keep?
My panache. 

I like to put ketchup on...
before I step out the door.

Bernard Haitink in Chicago

Bernard Haitink is taking leave of the Chicago Symphony. The Dutch maestro has served as resident conductor since 2006. The association has been a distinguished one. Haitink joined with conductor emeritus Pierre Boulez to inaugurate a Golden Age in the orchestra's history in preparation for the arrival of new music director Riccardo Muti.

Haitink now concludes the collaboration as Muti takes the helm in September. The orchestra has marked the occasion with a Beethoven symphonies cycle. The performances have drawn high praise.

In August Haitink will conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in two performances of Bruckner's Fifth Symphony at the Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg.

Last year Decca commemorated the conductor's 80th birthday with a 7-CD release, available at Amazon UK.

Chicago Tribune
2010.06.16 'No loss of momentum as Beethoven review enters final lap'
2010.06.12 'Back to nature with Haitink, CSO'

New York Times
Bernard Haitink articles

Music Web International
'Haitink's Chicago Beethoven Cycle'

Chicago Classical Review

Proms 71 and 72
Haitink and Chicago: Turnage, Mozart, Mahler, Shostakovich

Boosey and Hawkes
Turnage Remains premiered by Haitink, Chicago

Telegraph UK
Haitink: 'I love power without responsibility'

Archiv Music Store: Bernard Haitink

Official Site: Bernard Haitink


Conductor's Notebook


Farewell to John Wooden

Legendary coach John Wooden died yesterday at age 99. He guided his UCLA Bruins to unmatched dominance in college basketball. His teams' achievements included ten national titles and an 88-game win streak. He was also a Hall of Fame player at his college alma mater, Purdue. Yet he also avoided talk of wins and losses, seeing athletic challenges mainly as challenges to character. He once refused to enter a championship tournament that denied one of his players a chance to play because of his race.

At games Wooden held a program rolled up in one hand and the plan secure in his head. He focused on details from the first practice, when he showed new players how to put on socks. The press hailed him as a 'Wizard' and many of his maxims entered lore. Yet he lived in the same modest home throughout his career. His name was listed in the public phone book. He wrote regular letters to his wife of many years, Nell, even after she died.

In a field where success is often defined as the acquisition of a trophy or a ring, Wooden defined it as 'knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.'

Hear him share his thoughts in this 2001 video.


Conductor's Notebook


7.11 Solar Eclipse

A total solar eclipse will be visible in the southern Pacific Ocean on 2010 July 11. The path of the moon's umbra makes landfall on a few islands and the southern tips of Chile and Argentina.

A partial solar eclipse will be visible over a much wider area, including all of Chile.

For more information visit the Nasa page for his event.


Conductor's Notebook

12.21 Lunar Eclipse

The 2010 winter solstice will coincide with a total eclipse of the moon on December 21. The eclipse will be visible across most of the Pacific Ocean and all of North America. Viewers in South America will see the moon set fully eclipsed as it sets. Viewers in Taiwan and Japan will see the moon fully eclipsed as it rises.

For more information visit the Nasa page for this event.


Conductor's Notebook