by Gloria

The Children of Clara and Robert Schumann in: Correspondenz Sonderheft II, Aachen 2013; and Thomas Synofzik‚ Clara Schumann und ihre Kinder, in: Clara Schumann. Ein Künstlerinnenleben, Leipzig 2019, p. 52–57

This week was Spring Break. Theoretically, my schedule was not as busy, which means that I should have had more time to spend with my kids. But as it always happens, all kinds of emergencies crept up on me, and I ended up spending the majority of the week working.

On Friday, I found myself lying in bed late at night, feeling depressed. I imagined how one day, all grown up; my children would reflect on their childhoods and realize that their lives have been ruined because their mother was unavailable to them growing up. …


by Isabel

In Bulgarian, we have a specific word to describe “playing a musical instrument.” We don’t “play” an instrument; we make it sound. The word is Свиря (Svirja.) The only other language I can think of, which has а similar word, is Italian. They say “suonare,” which is the same as the Bulgarian svirene. Other languages, like English, use the word “play” for making music and a particular word for the daily work we do — practicing.

I like having a word for what we do and wish all languages had one. The Russians use “играть” (play) or “заниматься”…


by Gloria

Riverside Park at Sunrise

Years ago, when we were living in Denmark, I took daily classes at the local “Kommune.” All foreigners who were living in the country were eligible for free Danish courses. Parallel to learning the language, we received useful information about filling out job applications and understanding Danish tax law.

One of the things I learned is that in Denmark, frequently, you would be asked your personality type on job applications. If you are “A person,” that means that you are fresh in the morning and tired at night. If you are a “B person,” you prefer to get…


Edward Hopper’s Elevated Train

January 16, 2021

by Gloria

Yesterday my husband and I got out of our apartment and visited the Whitney. We biked downtown on the Hudson River path and docked our Citibikes around the corner from the museum on Washington Street. Тhe Meatpacking district of New York or any neighborhood outside of our usual surroundings feels like a real adventure. It has been a while since we got out of Hell’s Kitchen.

During pre-Covid times, I used to move around the city every day. You would run into me on Times Square where I take the trains, on the Upper West…


January 1, 2021

by Gloria

Morgan Library, New York

Today is the first day of the New Year.

A day, which many around the world are celebrating quietly, but with hope. The pandemic, which hit us in early Spring, has proven to be one of the most devastating events of our time.

One day, when I look back at my life, there will be several moments that I will see as crucial to who I am. The first one is the end of Communism in 1989, which allowed me to move to the United States. The second is the terrorist attack on 9/11, which…


By Isabel

I just realized that it has been ages since I posted anything on this blog and I truly miss connecting with you, dear reader. Ever since we returned to the city in early September, I have been dreaming of a moment when I could free my mind and allow myself the luxury and pleasure of sitting at my desk and writing.

After two months away, we returned to a city, which feels a lot more normal than it did in the Spring. In many ways, I find the overall atmosphere now better than it was before. Many streets…


August 29, 2020

Like many New Yorkers, I escaped the city for a while and spent the last two months in Northern Maine, a place inhabited by wealthy hippies who raise chickens and name their pigs Pancetta. I needed the serenity and beauty of this place and I am thankful for it.

Now it is time to go back. It is getting cold, and I am starting to miss the city. I miss the museums, the streets, the markets, fresh orange juice at the deli, Astoria, and the MET museum. I also miss the people. The one thing that makes…


August 22, 2020

The weather started changing last week. The mornings and evenings are cooler now, and I am no longer excited about jumping in the ocean first thing in the morning or staying at the beach too late. I hike or take walks with my family instead.

Last week was supposed to be our last week in Maine, but we decided to stay longer, now in the village East Blue Hill, right on the water. There is a Zen Buddhist guru in nearby Surry. We haven’t met him yet, but keep hearing about him. He attracted a following back…


by Gloria

Leon Fleisher (1928–2020)

It has been a little while since I last wrote because I have been trying to put together what I know of my grandmother’s story. Writing about her has proven to be a difficult task as she was very secretive. I have also been working on some music projects online: concerts, interviews, and presentations. We are still in Blue Hill, where we have been going to the wild beaches and doing a bit of hiking. I love this part of the country, the home of my teacher’s summer festival Kneisel Hall, but also the home of the Blue…


By Isabel

Last weekend we drove seven hours north from the city and left behind what has been very difficult few months for everyone in New York. We will be spending the next month surrounded by nature and serenity in beautiful Northern Maine. This area has had very few COVID cases, but people are cautious and, for the most part, following the rules. There is currently an influx of summer people and city refugees, such as ourselves. So the locals are exceptionally vigilant in wearing masks and not allowing too much mingling in the central part of our village.

Other…

Gloria and Isabel

Gloria and Isabel are the writing pseudonyms of Bulgarian pianist, teacher and concert presenter Lora Tchekoratova, based in New York City.

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