February 9, 2015

Mining the NYPL

View from the entrance to the Performing Arts Library 

I snapped this photo a few days ago, during a snowstorm, while standing with my back to the entrance to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Truly, it is one of the great music libraries of the world, and where I have spent a significant amount of time. On that score, I believe I can trace my curiosity in historical vocal pedagogy to my studies with Margaret Harshaw; specifically, a question I was asked during my second lesson. I had not been in her presence more than thirty seconds when she looked me right in the eye and said: "So.....what did you learn since I saw you?" This told me that it was my job to figure things out.

Right now, I am looking for biographical data for an elusive fellow who made a significant contribution in the late ninetieth century—a student of Manuel García actually. While I've found quite a bit of material, I have yet to divine the gentleman's birth and death dates. You'd think this would be a simple matter until you've found yourself confounded by multiple dead ends. What to do? You ask for help, review your resources for the umpteenth time, get creative with your search terms, and keep digging. 


Photo Credit: Calder sculpture on the Lincoln Center Plaza in front of the entrance to the Performing Arts Library by Daniel James Shigo. 

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