Monday, November 21, 2016


A couple of years ago, I celebrated my birthday by sending family and friends a YouTube link to a performance that had given me very great pleasure during the year.

Now, at 95, I’d like to do it again. This time I couldn’t decide between two choices, so you have them both:

Mozart’s 24thpiano concerto, performed by Murray Perahia

Bach’s Golberg Variations, performed by AndrĂ¡s Schiff.

You may or may not share my musical likes. These selections may not bring tears of wonder and joy to your eyes, as they do for me. But whatever lifts you up in communion with the marvels and beauty of human potential, this is the time to keep the faith, to rise to the challenge of our times with solidarity and love.

I'd love it if you would send back to me a favorite of yours, whatever the musical genre!


  1. Aloha from the Big Island where you will find us every year having Thanksgiving with my family.

    Happy birthday. Think of you often.

  2. Dear Leon,
    Thank you for sending music. I know of no better way to celebrate the good in humans.
    Here is an all time favorite of mine, an old Brazilian tune sung by a modern singer:
    Carol Ginsburg

  3. Happy Birthday, Leon! I'm so glad you are still with us!
    Thanks for the links to Mozart and Bach! As I may have told you, I've been playing cornetto in a Renaissance Winds class for a couple of decades now. Here's a link to a page by Bruce Dickey, my cornetto hero, and the first person to learn to play it really well in the 20th Century. The music samples are at the bottom of the page. Annie and I heard the whole program in Portland a few weeks ago.

    --David Parker

  4. Dear Leon,

    Thank you for telling me/us that today is your birthday. Two other close friends of mine share this birthday with you, although they both were born in 1950, a bit after you were born. I listen regularly to Bill Evans, Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, and Branford Marsalis (especially the CD titled Eternal). BUT, I was lucky enough to go to a solo concert a few years ago by Andras Schiff here in DC, and we had remarkable, prized seats on the stage up high. We stared down at Schiff's hands on the keyboard, and he made playing the piano look so simple that I returned home and vowed to re-learn to play the piano. (Still working at this; not playing the way Andras does, but he certainly was inspiring.) Thank you for this music. And thank you for so much else that you've taught me over many decades. Here's to many more birthdays and much more good music. Love, Ruth

  5. A favorite of mine is "Something is Blowing in the Wind" by Bobby Dylan

  6. Listened to Bach and Mozart this morning and I thank you for sharing those concertos! Very much enjoyed them. have a nice cay Leon! Love,

  7. Hi Leon - your bday celebration was lovely - and I especially appreciated your beautiful, talented, and hilarious family. I love both pieces you shared and funnily, I was literally just thinking I may be listening to a bit more classical in the near future (you know my dad did as well but something I have never done regularly). Lake Street Dive is my most recent obsession, and I never bore of them. Here are several hard to choose. Wonder that you'll think!: Four 30somethings who went to music school together and make some very original and, to me, fantabulous music…plus the pipes on the lead singer are phenomenal:

  8. Happy Birthday,Leon! I love Mozart too. One of my favorite pieces Is the Lieutenant kije Suite by Prokofiev. Happy Thanksgiving Debbie H

  9. I'm so glad I was in town for your party. Here is a concert of a Tunisian jazz musician I've been going back to repeatedly of late: Dhafer Youssef --
    Pauline W.