Here in Washington (and other places) people often ask me what my profession is. A concise definition that takes up just a couple of lines, like the one above, hardly ever does the trick. However, when I simply say that I'm a correspondent for German Radio, I often get asked what the name of my paper is. When I specify that I'm a music journalist, I am mistaken for a music critic. When I acknowledge being a freelance correspondent whose desk is at home, some people are inclined to think I'm doing this as a hobby ("... and where do you work?")
The fact that I crisscross the United States to cover events sometimes evokes envy – pulling all-nighters in a hotel room to get a story out on time, with added pressure due to the time delay between the United States and Germany is one of the lesser-known aspects of my job. Producing my stories in my own studio, on the other hand, has yielded me some extra volunteer work in the past: I produced some radio spots announcing concerts of the Alexandria Singers, a group in which I sang during the 1990s. The spots aired on radio stations in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area.
About my "mission": I see my main task in showcasing the colorful, versatile classical music life of America to a German audience (see also "topics"). Doing this, I rarely make judgments on the performance quality because I think the larger context of an event in America is more relevant to Germans than how well-disposed an artist is on a given day. This is the reason why I call myself a journalist, rather than a critic.
If you take a look at the chronological list of topics I have covered, you will notice a time gap of approximately ten years. That’s because I took a sabbatical during which I earned a J.D. at George Washington University, an LL.M. in tax law at Georgetown University, became a member of four bars (NY, D.C. VA, NJ) and worked for one of the “big four” accounting firms for six years. Now I have my freedom back, but because I have the legal education, I have added a few other ways of making a living. I also do specialized translation work in tax law, and I teach karate in the most wonderful dojo I have ever seen. And my latest endeavor: my own law firm, which specializes on clients with German-American tax issues.
I don't mind at all talking about things other than my job. However, I want to make it easy for everyone who would like to understand my work. But it's not only about me. You can also use my web page to get information about music (and other topics). The list of artists I have interviewed is filled with links, for example, to their web pages. Similar links exist in my overview of topics. In addition, I have a brief summary for every radio topic I have covered since November 5, 1996 (the day when my hard drive crashed!).
Feel free to Email if you have questions, comments or suggestions.