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Cue Sheet – July 2007


    On Friday I interviewed Simone Dinnerstein, a pianist who's getting more and more attention these days, first through her excellent recordings with cellist Zuill Bailey, and now through her very individual and fascinating recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations. Being a radio guy, I first asked her how to pronounce her name, and it's even more complicated than I thought. She pronounces her first name in three syllables, with a little schwa on the end, and the end of her last name sounds like steen. Now you know.

Classical Music,


    If you've been reading press reports about the Tucson Pima Arts Council's Pima Cultural Plan and would like to dig into it and see what it really says, here's the draft report. I haven't read it all yet, myself. What I have perused makes some good points, but I wonder how many people will buy its advocacy for a new bureaucratic infrastructure to boost local arts support.



    Yesterday, UApresents, the university’s arts-presenting unit, announced that for the first time in years it was ending the season in the black. The surplus is $98,878, to be exact. The press release went on to promote events in the upcoming season.
    What was missing from the announcement? First, mention that the surplus was made possible by raking in $500,000 from special fund-raising efforts, a feat that might not be replicated in the future. Without that money, the organization would have dug itself another $400,000 into the hole this year. Second, there’s the depth of that hole. Last September, UA president Robert Shelton temporarily forgave the organization its $1.2 million accumulated deficit, but stipulated that the money must eventually be repaid. Which means that even with the nearly $100,000 surplus this season, UApresents still has $1.1 million to go, besides meeting its annual budgets to come. No longer booking touring musicals was a good start—Broadway in Tucson takes care of that nicely, without losing tens of thousands of dollars on each show—but will UApresents ever be able to issue a press release celebrating the repayment of all its old debts?



    After reading yesterday’s confession by yours truly, another broadcaster—not one who works here—sent this message:

The first time I ever filled in for the afternoon shift at KBAQ, I had to juggle underwriting credits for both news and traffic. My first break involved a very funny aligning of two UW credits—one for "Fiber-Con" and the other for "Preparation H." I kid you not. I made it through the break like a champ, and proceeded to giggle like a 6th-grader for several minutes afterward.



    Every time I read the underwriting credit that mentions "mobile phlebotomists," I have a barely suppressed urge to giggle. "Phlebotomists" is a funny word to begin with, and making them "mobile" is somehow hilarious. Beyond that, if you know what phlebotomy refers to, and you conceive of it as a mobile service, there arises the image of vampire bats on the loose. For the sake of my dignity and the phlebotomists', I hope this contract expires before I lose control.



    Believe it or not, even without the blanks filled in, the classical-music-review template provided by Jeremy Denk, a pianist with way too much time on his hands despite his summer performance schedule, would be a tremendous improvement over most of what we get hereabouts. Take a look, and don't forget to read the comments, too.

Classical Music,

About Cue Sheet

James Reel's cranky consideration of the fine arts and public radio in Tucson and beyond.