October 30, 2019

Turning 46 and firmly entering middle age by every possible definition made me realize how lucky I am to have lived 45 years virtually free of significant physical suffering. Also, how many more morning cups of coffee I got to enjoy than arguably much more deserving individuals such as Pushkin, Schubert, Mozart and Van Gogh. Having spent most of my life involved in the arts, I am slowly coming to appreciate the luxury of October foliage on a sunny day more than Pushkin’s poem describing it as “nature’s opulent decay,” and sound of the rain on a quiet afternoon more than its musical representat...

November 22, 2018

In a world enamored with confidence, I am grateful for doubt.

In a world where outcomes of our actions rarely align with our intentions, I am grateful for surprises.

In a world fascinated by notoriety, I am grateful for privacy. 

In a world filled with strong rhetoric, I am grateful for music.

In a world celebrating logical explanations, I am grateful for paradoxes.

In a world obsessed with quantifying everything, I am grateful for immeasurable.

In a world of deeply held delusional beliefs, I am grateful for humor.

In a world of competition, striving and strife, I am grateful for cooperation, generos...

December 16, 2016

Dear Friends,

     Ya-Ting and I hope that you had a healthy and happy year. I have never done a Christmas letter until now, but I feel compelled to try it because this year has been filled with some new intense experiences, both negative and positive, from the pain of my first real loss to the thrill of my first performance as a soloist with the Harrisburg Symphony after playing in the group for 20 years. 

     On January 1, 2016, while I was celebrating the New Year in Taipei, Taiwan, with Ya-Ting's parents and siblings in the room, and while talking to my parents and brother on...

January 29, 2016

Vladimir I. Sirotin (1963-2016)

"I have one brother" used to be my answer 
To those who politely cared to ask.
I now say "I used to have a brother"
It's strange to me, this new and somber task.

To some he was a source of inspiration
A brilliant wordsmith, fighter for the truth
To others constant source of irritation
A fierce debater with the shortest fuse

To parents he was unfinished project
A constant worry over "fitting in".
I loved debating him on any subject
Somehow both of us would always win

We had to choose in suffocating country
To live in fear, drink, protest or leave
He stayed and...

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