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Biography

I've been involved professionally in music and media for more than 30 years, and personally for even longer.

I've been closely associated with contemporary music and living composers for decades, have written extensively for The New York Times since 2006, and contributed weekly to The New Yorker from 2017 to 2022.

In April 2020 I relaunched the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award-winning blog you are currently reading as a Substack newsletter, at which time this site became an archive and a site for weekly sound-diary playlists. (I am rethinking that decision now. Stay tuned.)

I was the inaugural director of publications for the Brooklyn-based concert venue and performing-arts incubator National Sawdust, and served as the editor and lead writer for National Sawdust Log (2016-20), a respected online journal of music journalism and criticism that showcased writing by well-established professionals and gifted emerging writers. The Log was recognized for support by the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, attesting to the quality the publication achieved during its brief existence.

I have previously held the positions of Culture & Arts Editor for WNYC (2022-23); Senior Arts Editor for NPR (2021-22); Assistant Arts Editor at the Boston Globe (2014-16); and both Music Editor and Classical Music Editor for Time Out New York (2001-14).

In my initial stint as a freelance stringer for The New York Times (2007-14), I filed multiple articles and reviews every week. I began my career in New York City media as the classical music industry columnist for Billboard magazine (2001-03).

I've embraced an uncommonly broad stylistic range in my music coverage, which has appeared in the Washington Post, Village Voice, Billboard, Musical America, NewMusicBox, Jazziz, JazzTimes, Down Beat, The Wire, Signal to Noise [RIP], Chamber Music, Symphony, Decibel, and numerous other publications.

I've written program notes for Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the BBC, and other institutions, and album liner notes for the Kronos Quartet with Laurie Anderson, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and pianist Jenny Lin.

Along with my work as a writer and editor, I have extensive experience in public relations, radio broadcasting, and live interviews, both onstage and on camera.

I trained formally as a percussionist, and put those studies to work with jazz groups in San Antonio, in rock bands in Houston and New York, and with the Long Island Gilbert & Sullivan Society. More recently I've performed at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the Caramoor Festival, and the Ojai Music Festival, and in Make Music New York.

I currently (and proudly) live in Jackson Heights, Queens, with my wife, journalist and scholar Lara Pellegrinelli, our daughter, and two charismatic dogs.