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Protest Makes Us All Stronger

A couple of years ago, I chanced to be in Paris on 1 May. I was travelling for work, and it hadn’t even occurred to me beforehand that I’d be in the French capital, of all places, on the traditional day of worker protests.

The Old and the New

It’s human nature to set arbitrary points in time after which we envision everything being different. Decadal birthdays, graduation, or the ultimate classic: New Year’s.

Healing Sounds

It’s one of the impressions from that nursing home that I’ve never been able to forget: a 65-year-old daughter playing her 90-year-old mother—who was suffering from dementia—a few measures of Mozart on an old cassette player every afternoon.

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

If you’ve ever strolled through the commercial streets of Naples or Rome, you’re sure to have experienced it: that moment when, in the midst of unsuspectingly letting your gaze wander from one display window to the next, you suddenly notice this melody that’s covering it all like a blanket—one that’s vaguely familiar, though you can’t immediately put your finger on it.

Demise of a Myth

No orchestral post is surrounded by more myths than is that of the conductor. “Conductor” denotes more than just a profession. It is a symbol. It stands for authority, for the lone wolf, for the diva.

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