Mentors

1 – Gabriel Villasurda – my junior high orchestra teacher who gave me
my first opportunities to hear the best in recorded classical music.

2 – Gairt Mauerhoff – long time owner of the Liberty Music Shop in Ann Arbor.
My first boss in the world of music and my first and still most important guide
to seeking only the highest standards in everything I do.

3 – Tom Allen and Mildred Wrightman- Liberty Music sales team.
Millie opened my eyes to jazz and Tom showed me the ropes of
the retail record business.

4 – Edward Downing – my high school band director and first music history teacher.
He showed me that talking about music could be full of passion and joy.

5 – Stephen Skelley-my first radio boss. He took an undisciplined and fiery teenager
and taught him how to be a broadcaster-a firm hand desperately needed at the time!

6 – Gail Rector – a model impresario and still my lodestar for how to treat artists.
His tireless advocacy permitted me to interview and record some of the greatest artists
of our time. Pictured here in his office surrounded by stars!

7 – Jim Unrath – my WFMT boss (with tenor Giuseppe di Stefano, after our interview).
He gave me the keys to the entire world of classical music performers for seven years
as we produced Lincoln’s Music In America.

8 – Norman Pellegrini-WFMT’s superb program director and tough critic.
My young life was complete when I received my first compliment from Norm.

9 – Kenneth Haas- The most gentlemanly man I have ever met in the orchestra business.
My chief executive at The Boston Symphony.

10 – Ray Minshull-my predecessor at Decca. He passed the baton to me
with a grace and wisdom I will always cherish.

11 – Patricia Beggs- General Director and CEO at Cincinnati Opera.
We’re joyously joined at the hip.

Mentors
You probably won’t recognize many, if any of these men and women. But next to my partner and family, they have been the most important influences in my life. They are some of my mentors. Selflessly, each and every one of them guided me along the path of knowledge and discipline in the arts. They are mostly teachers, both formal and informal. What unites them is that somehow they saw a spark of passion for music in me and encouraged it.

At different times in my life, they have appeared as if conjured by some natural force, providing the guideposts and opportunities that have helped me lead a rich life in the arts. This gallery is dedicated to them, and I am happy to say that most of them are still with us, some of them still in regular contact, continuing to prod me in all the right ways and encouraging me to pass on my own knowledge to the next generation.

1-Gabriel Villasurda – my junior high orchestra teacher who gave me my first opportunities to hear the best in recorded classical music.

2-Gairt Mauerhoff – long time owner of the Liberty Music Shop in Ann Arbor. My first boss in the world of music and my first and still most important guide to seeking only the highest standards in everything I do.

3- Tom Allen and Mildred Wrightman- Liberty Music sales team. Millie opened my eyes to jazz and Tom showed me the ropes of the retail record business.

4- Edward Downing – my high school band director and first music history teacher. He showed me that talking about music could be full of passion and joy.

5- Stephen Skelley-my first radio boss. He took an undisciplined and fiery teenager and taught him how to be a broadcaster-a firm hand desperately needed at the time!

6- Gail Rector – a model impresario and still my lodestar for how to treat artists. His tireless advocacy permitted me to interview and record some of the greatest artists of our time. Pictured here in his office surrounded by stars!

7- Jim Unrath – my WFMT boss. (pictured here in Italy after we interviewed Giuseppe di Stefano) He gave me the keys to the entire world of classical music performers for seven years as we produced Lincoln's Music In America.

8- Norman Pellegrini-WFMT’s superb program director and tough critic. My young life was complete when I received my first compliment from Norm.

9- Kenneth Haas- The most gentlemanly man I have ever met in the orchestra business. My chief executive at The Boston Symphony.

10- Ray Minshull-my predecessor at Decca. He passed the baton to me with a grace and wisdom I will always cherish.

11- Patricia Beggs- General Director and CEO at Cincinnati Opera. We’re joyously joined at the hip.