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A Cellist in Winter: On That Note Feels The Chill

Robert Cohen
Cellist robert Cohen

This month's On That Note is all about everyone’s second favorite topic - the weather.

For most of us, weather is either nice or annoying. But musicians monitor temperatures and humidity levels with a devotion verging on the fanatical. Their livelihoods depend upon both their bodies and their instruments being in the best condition possible. And when temperatures are particularly cold and dry, it's hard on both.

Cohen plays an almost 300-year-old instrument. Like many of us as we age, the cello doesn't react well to change or temperature extremes: "The real worry is about the wood cracking and the glue that holds it together drying out and the whole thing falling apart," he says. "I mean I’ve had nightmares, like most musicians, about opening the cello case and finding a pile of dust at the bottom."

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
For 35 years one of the worlds leading cello soloist, Robert Cohen is an award-winning recording artist, conductor, artistic director and pedagogue who has been broadcast on TV and radio throughout the world. His passionate views on the art of learning, performing and communicating music have been widely published.