Elizabeth Sobol is the President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She is also a voracious reader, champion of the cultural arts and lover of the natural world. She recently posted an eloquent letter about life during a pandemic and the impact of Beethoven’s music on our world in the year of his 250th birthday. You can read that here.
We just knew she’d have some great insight and advice for us during New York’s Shelter In Place orders. Please enjoy our conversation with Elizabeth Sobol.
Elizabeth Sobol’s Favorites:
- Saratoga PLAN – Saratoga PLAN is dedicated to preserving the rural character, natural habitats and scenic beauty of Saratoga County and provides information on County parks and trails. Includes information on Hennig Preserve.
- SPAC “Sparked By Beauty” Facebook Page – Saratoga Performing Arts Center has created an online forum for the sharing of poetry, art, music, dance – things of beauty that bring you joy and light under the dark clouds of uncertainty.
- Elizabeth’s Reading List:
- Brian Greene’s Until The End of Time – “It’s a huge book in scope – and he is really looking at both the history of the cosmos – as well as the history of human thought and experience. Kind of like “from the Big Bang to Beethoven”. It sounds daunting, but it is so precisely and beautifully written that it is very gripping. “
- Erik Larson’s The Splendid and The Vile – “[This] is basically a history of Churchill’s first year as Prime Minister – and also the first year of WWII and the Blitz. It’s a timely and powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit – and the importance of honest, powerful oratory – in leading people through times of crisis.”
- Irina Ratushinskaya’s Grey Is The Color of Hope – “A memoir about her many years in the gulags of Russia and how she maintained hope and sustenance through the clandestine writing of poetry on matchbooks.”
- Tracy K. Smith’s Life on Mars – “Our immediate past US Poet Laureate and an extraordinary human being. She also has her own poetry podcast called “The Slowdown”. I listen to it at night when I can’t sleep. It is magical.”
- Favorite Beethoven recordings:
- “Because I was an aspiring pianist in a distant past, I always gravitate to [Beethoven’s] piano music. Any recording of any of the 32 piano sonatas performed by Richard Goode, Jonathan Biss or Igor Levitt (representing three different generations of pianists).”
- “Jonathan Biss is also a great writer and has a terrific Kindle Single called ‘In Beethoven’s Shadow’.”