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Arts / Culture

Late Starters Orchestra Q&A

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Ari Goldman reached his goal of becoming a New York Times reporter by the time he hit 25. Mastering the cello has been a longer journey.  

Goldman picked the cello back up decades later, first playing with his son's children's orchestra and ultimately finding a place to play in The Late Starters String Orchestra.  

Unlike other music-making organizations in New York City, which Goldman says are like "auditioning for Broadway," with this orchestra, "if you think you can play, you can play."  

And while the results aren't what you might find if you listen to a Yo-Yo Ma recording or one by Mstislav Rostropovich, as Goldman says, "you can find great recordings on You Tube or your iPod...but when I listen to The Late Starters, that's my cello line."  

Goldman now plays with a string trio and wants to get good enough to play the Bach Cello Suites some day.  

His musical adventures inspired his new book, "The Late Starters Orchestra."

And when The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism professor is in town to judge the work of journalists for the Poynter Institute, he enjoys taking in concerts at the Mahaffey Theater.