Winter’s Breath

A couple of weeks ago, on a beautiful snowy Sunday morning, I stumbled on a wonderful video posted in Facebook.  The author was  Sean O’Boyle, the Australian composer, living in New York. The soundtrack for the video was his own composition titled “Winter’s Breath”.

I wonder if he was thinking about the music while taking this video or the idea of pairing both came later?

Some of you might remember Sean as a composer of the “Concerto for Didgeridoo and Orchestra”, a work that I have presented several times on my program.

The pictures of those snowy scenes in New York combined with music gave me the idea to do a whole program of works devoted to winter, a season that never really came to us this year on the east coast, at least not yet.

As I am going through piles of CD’s of music depicting musically ice, snow, and the cold, I am imagining wonderful winter scenery and hope that some of you will be able to join and share with me this special voyage to the Winter Wonderland, just days before March and the real spring season begins.

Yes, winter is coming to Classical Discoveries this Wednesday from 5:30am till 1:00pm. Get out your warm gloves, scarfs, boots and get ready to be chilled and frozen on  WPRB 103.3FM or on-line at

If you miss the broadcast you will be able to listen on your computer for 2 weeks after the mp3 files are posted on my Classical Discoveries website.

The weather is so different from last year, when I remember driving to WPRB for my 24 Hour Hovhaness Marathon in a blizzard. A two-minute drive turned into a 40-minute struggle. I live close and could have actually walked to the station, but since I needed supplies for 24-hours of survival, I needed to go by car.

My evening’s special guest could not get a taxi for a 2-mile drive from his hotel to the studio.  That is how bad it was. After that, we had snow almost every Monday or Tuesday. I was actually very happy when spring arrived.

This season, after the late October snow we had only a few days of light snow, and can already see spring flowers popping up in my garden. I bet that many people with extreme weather this year would like to exchange places with us here in the Northeast.

March, as always, will be devoted to women composers, so this is my last chance to celebrate winter.  In addition, on Feb.29, to celebrate Alan Hovhaness’s 101st birthday, I will broadcast a live concert of his chamber music taped on January 8, 2012 at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. If you are on Facebook, you can join the Event at:  I will also present some selections from a just released CD of his choral works as performed by Gloriae Dei Cantores.

Enjoy the last few weeks of winter, or at least listen this Wednesday on WPRB.

Finally, I am here

April 09, 2011

Finally, after many months of stalling and many trips to the Princeton Record Exchange, I have managed to finish my first official blog.

Unfortunately, I have been involved recently with to many projects. Some of these have been related to the Hovhaness centenary. My other main project was to simply get rid of a cold that I had for weeks.

I hope that in this blog I will be able to express myself and talk about issues that are important to me, many of which have to do about my beloved subject, the music of our time.

You must be asking, why MarvinTheCat?

Yes, I do love cats, even though I never had any animals as a child. When I married my wife Beata, I married not only her but also 2 cats and a dog.  After many more cats and another dog, I discovered the meaning of animal love.  But the reason for MarvinTheCat is totally different.

In 1993 I recorded a CD of the piano music of Alan Hovhaness – Fred the Cat. The CD cover is graced with my wife’s painting of one of our cats, properly named Fred (of course after Hovhaness’s Sonata).   This is how my story begins.

The last time I saw AH alive in Boston, I had people walk to me saying, “you are familiar to me, O yes, you are Fred the Cat”  This happened many times later also and from that time I am remembered as such.  Also Fred the Cat became my website logo.

Unfortunately again, when I wanted Fred for this Blog, the name was already taken, so I decided to replace Fred with Marvin. I just hope that who ever adopted that name, was inspired by my CD, but if not, that is OK also as long as he/she loves cats.

So now here is a bit about me.

I am a pianist, music educator and passionate recorded music collector (my motto: more rare CDs the better), or rather as my wife calls me a “sick collector” and “CDcoholic.”

I am an easygoing guy who has tried for most of my life to stay away from any controversial issues, as instructed in my early life.  I have expressed different views only via music on my radio program  (to the joy of many happy listeners), so maybe it is time for me speak out just a bit.

Yes, my other passion is a radio.

As a volunteer on WPRB, I have presented at least once a week “Classical Discoveries” for 14 years and in addition for almost 3 years now “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde”.

Yes, this newer program airs, not in wee hours of night, hidden away from listeners, when everyone is sleeping and only few Internet junkies are exploring the airwaves, but in the daytime.

There will be more about this is my next blog.

Since I have full-time job and a time-consuming hobby, I might not have the time to write as often I would like, but we will see what happens.


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