Actually, I asked for this. My friend Mike Jones caught me at an unguarded moment and inquired if I'd ever been meme'd. Me and my big mouth..
Mike's post that started this rolling can be found here:
Okay, let's get this over with! My understanding is that I'm supposed to come up with five things that most of you don't know about me. Here goes..
Below is a photo of me at the piano keyboard, at age seven.
I was a symphony musician and conductor for twenty-five years before switching careers and venturing into real estate. Most of my family members were in the arts in some way. My mother was a symphony violinist in Chicago and my uncle sang with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus in the late 1940s. So embarking on a career in music seemed like a natural thing to do. At age 20, I was hired by the Israel Broadcasting Orchestra in Jerusalem, Israel, as a French hornist. Our orchestra toured Europe and the United States. It was a great experience, one I'll never forget. After I returned to the States in the mid-1970s, I began free-lancing as a hornist with the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. I also worked as Principal French horn with the Tucson Symphony in Arizona for two years. The photo below is yours truly with the Minnesota Orchestra horn section in 1989 (That's me farthest to the right in the photo).
In the late 1980's, I took up conducting symphony orchestras for a living. I worked for Disney Studios for a short time on a project in New York City. We put together a concert version of the music from some of the great Disney movies like Lady and the Tramp, Dumbo and Pinocchio. The program, entitled "With a Smile and a Song", was premiered at the Smithsonian American Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., using an orchestra of musicians from the Kennedy Center and National Symphony. I also did some studio orchestra conducting and horn playing for companies like Kellogg, Wrangler Jeans, Miller Brewing Company, ADM, Quaker Oats, and Johnson & Johnson. Below is a photo of me (baton in hand) next to friend and concertmaster Anshel Brusilow, at a recording session in Dallas with members of the Dallas Symphony in 1996.
One of my favorite experiences was hiring the orchestra for the Columbia Pictures "sound logo" (the music you hear at the beginning of a Columbia film). We recorded that music at Studio 'M' in Saint Paul, Minnesota with members of the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. I played horn and was the music contractor for that project.
I still play the French horn once in awhile. In fact, I performed this morning at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, for a Reformation Sunday service. I also work with the Aurora Brass Quintet, in Minneapolis. The Aurora Brass performs, tours and records in the Midwest. Here's a link to the Aurora Brass MySpace Music Page, with audio clips and downloads.
Below is an old publicity photo, taken on a concert tour in Nebraska a few years ago. I'm in the middle of the photo, under the letter "R".
I serve on various Boards of Directors of nonprofit arts organizations, like Music Saint Croix (in Stillwater, Minnesota) and the Twin Cities Musicians' Union (Local 30-73, AFL-CIO). I'm probably one of the only real estate licensees you'll ever meet who is an elected official with a union local!
Here's a link to my ZoomInfo page, with a biography that includes the music career information.
I have been a member of the music teaching faculty at Carleton College and at Augsburg College, both in Minnesota. The pic below is one of me lecturing about the French horn during a summer music event.
I collect books, art and antiques.
I also collect Geiger counters. I know it sounds weird, but I was a physics major for a short time and my parents thought I'd go into atomic physics as a career. It was a nerdy stage I went through as a kid. I wanted to grow up to be another Enrico Fermi.
Oh, and I forgot to add I have a real estate office on an Island! One of my companies, Madeline Island Realty, is located in the town of La Pointe, in the Apostle Islands of northwestern Wisconsin, on the shores of Lake Superior. I'm also a Minnesota real estate licensee and I own Wayzata Lakes Realty in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul metro area.
Okay, that's enough. Boy, am I relieved to be done with the task of writing this post! My thanks to AR member Mike Jones, Mike, you're a class act and a good friend!