Centre News

20 Questions with Music Professor Larry Bitensky

February 21, 2013        
Larry Bitensky Larry Bitensky, associate professor of music.
1. Position at Centre?
Associate Professor of Music.

2. Where did you grow up?
Lawn Guyland, N.Y.

3. What are your hobbies?
Writing music, playing the piano, playing with my dog, noodling on my guitar, hanging out with Kathy, doing qigong, walking, reading, tea, eating.

4. What is your dream vacation?
In 2010, my wife and I took Centre students to Bali to practice gamelan, dancing, cooking, batik and other art forms on a beautiful island paradise. It doesn’t get much better than that!

5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
I can’t say I have a favorite, but I gravitate toward early modernism, Islamic design and East Asian painting.

6. Favorite novel or poem?
Hard to name just one. Some favorite hoity authors: Phillip Roth, Vladimir Nabokov, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Ian McEwen and many others. I’m also a sucker for good page-turning genre fiction—Lee Child, Ken Follet, Stephen King.

7. Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
Does throwing a tennis ball for my black lab count?

8. Favorite TV show?
Currently, “Downton Abbey.” Okay, I didn’t know it was a soap opera when it started, but now I’m hooked.

9. Favorite album?
I listen to an eclectic mix of classical, jazz, classical Indian, Islamic and African music. For mainstream “albums,” the Beatles were the mainstay of my collection, and I have a large collection of bootleg live Grateful Dead shows.

10. Favorite holiday?
Billie Holiday.

11. Favorite food?
A couple of slices—New Yorkers will know what I mean.

12. Most prized possession?
I paid money for my dog Chloe, so I guess she technically counts as a possession—but don’t tell her that.

13. Three people, living or deceased, whom you’d invite to the same dinner party?
Louis Armstrong, Jerry Garcia and Chuang Tzu. There would be a lot of laughing and armchair philosophizing, and we’d have a great jam session afterwards (I’m assuming Chuang Tzu knows how to jam).

14. Favorite aspect of your job?
Working with the wonderful students at Centre. I’m not just sayin’ that. Really, I mean it.

15. Most memorable experience of your youth?
I’m sworn to secrecy on that.

16. What would you be doing if you weren’t working at Centre?
Probably making Big Macs at McDonalds. An advanced degree makes you sort of like those characters on Star Trek with the abnormally enlarged brains. You’re really good at one thing and not much else.

17. Educational experience that's been most helpful to you?
Sorry students, but the self-generated time and energy spent on practicing my art was the most helpful.

18. Fictional character in whose shoes you’d love to spend a day?

19. Favorite place on campus (and why)?
The rooftop of the Norton Center for the Arts. It’s a great place to teach classes.

20. Advice you'd give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
Get a calendar and learn how to use it in a way that makes sense for you.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail elizabeth.trollinger@centre.edu with your feedback.

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