“Artist to Artist, Across the Years: Jade Snow Wong and the Budapest Quartet” by Heidi Kim appeared in the Library of Congress’s online feature In the Muse in January 2016. It begins, “One of the most engaging and charming anecdotes in Jade Snow Wong’s memoir Fifth Chinese Daughter, a bestseller of the 1950s, recounts how she, as a student at Mills College, cooked a Chinese dinner for a famous string quartet who her dean was hosting.” Kim goes on to detail how she found, in Wong’s archives at the Library, a charming story of a friendship that lasted for many years between the young woman who became a famous artist herself and a world-famous quartet.
My article on the reception and performance history of John Adams’ song setting of “The Wound-Dresser” (a great piece for baritone and small orchestra) is out from my friends at the WWQR. Thanks to editor Ed Folsom for his enduring support of Whitman and young Whitman scholars!
This was a particularly fun article for me to write (and a horrific bibliographical experience). It was a first venture into writing about one of my big hobbies, classical music, and I got to use an almost overwhelming variety of sources, including interviews I conducted with two tremendous opera singers, Nathan Gunn and Eric Owens. I also drew on baritone Thomas Hampson‘s considerable public speaking about this piece, thanks to the New York Philharmonic media staffer Katie Klenn, who really went the extra mile in shipping me DVDs of his talks.
The only thing I didn’t try to do was interview Adams, and now, as I look at the piece, I can’t think for the life of me why not. I did use his blog.
Link here (subscription/pay required).
Citation: Kim, Heidi Kathleen. “Whitman’s Identity at War: Contexts and Reception of John Adams’ The Wound-Dresser.” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 30 (2013), 78-92.