click to enlarge Quick questions for Ken
Photo courtesy Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

What childhood event foretold your conducting career?

"When I was still a kid, I recorded a Leonard Bernstein concert on TV. I watched it over and over and over again. I was just really inspired."

Who else inspired you in your youth?

"My violin teacher was so passionate about music that it was contagious to all of us. Many of his students became professional musicians and even those who didn't are still connected to music in one way or another."

How do you prepare for rehearsals or a performance?

"I am way busier than I ever was when I was an attorney. Every minute of my time I am either studying or thinking about scores. But great art always has something new to say. If it is a masterpiece like Beethoven or Brahms, it takes a lifetime of study."

Any hobbies?

"I love golf. I picked up tennis again during the pandemic and am trying to play regularly. I read constantly but much of it is music-related."

What books would you recommend to someone interested in classical music?

"If I have to pick one, the The Classical Style, by Charles Rosen. It won a National Book Award.

Beyond music, what other fields inspire you?

"I love art in all its forms. I'm fascinated by politics, philosophy, psychology, religion and literature."

You've made a huge change for the second half of life. What advice would you give to someone in a life transition like retirement or a career change?

"Don't be afraid of change. But take calculated risks."

How would you sum up your approach to your work and to life?

"The journey matters way more than the goal."

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