[the first thing you learn in the ship world is that folks get upset if you call their beautiful vessel a "boat" instead of a "ship"]
Almost exactly a year ago, I embarked the MS Eurodam, a 2000-passenger cruise ship of Holland America Line. It was definitely not in my plans to ever work on a ship - I am generally distrustful/afraid of the ocean, nor do I like the water. But I guess the only predictable thing about life is its unpredictability, and so there I was, walking on the gangway in Fort Lauderdale Port as the pianist of the inaugural piano quintet of Lincoln Center Stage, a brand new partnership between Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and HAL.
HAL's level of commitment to present high quality classical music through Lincoln Center Stage is unprecedented to my knowledge, and it is a blessing for classical music. They bought brand new Steinways for their ships, commissioned dozens of emerging and established composers/arrangers to write fabulous arrangements for the quintet, and treated us very well. The program continues to expand and thrive.