The write stuff: when journalists play a musical instrument

Posted on: June 6, 2018

At the New York Times, “There is a strong contingent of classical musicians in the building, many of whom play in outside groups for the sheer pleasure of it,” writes Daniel Wakin in Sunday’s (6/3) New York Times. “It seemed convenient to band together on the premises during off hours. I knew, from an orchestra we happened to be in together, that Laura Chang, deputy editor for The Upshot, played the violin. The grapevine sent us other musicians: William Davis, an assistant editor for News Platforms (another violinist); Aaron Krolik, a developer for Interactive News (a violist); and Margalit Fox, a senior Obituaries writer (a cellist). We bonded in an empty conference room over Mozart and Brahms two years ago, gathering after work on a regular basis. We call ourselves the Qwerty Ensemble. We chose the name Qwerty as a nod to keyboards, of the writing kind…. For the past few months we’ve been focusing on the Brahms Clarinet Quintet…. It’s a great way to ease the tension of high-pressure jobs at the end of the day…. We began talking about the ways in which playing music and creating journalism are similar.” Included are excerpts of a conversation among the five.

Posted June 6, 2018

In photo: Members of the Qwerty Ensemble rehearse with their coach, Jo-Ann Sternberg, at the New York Times building in Manhattan on May 17. Photo by Jeenah Moon / New York Times