More About the Author
Blair Tindall enjoys a unique career as musician, storyteller, and multifaceted performer. A Grammy-nominated oboist, Tindall burst on the literary scene in 2005 with her controversial memoir, Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music (Grove/Atlantic Press). The book has now been published in six languages, was recently named by the Times of London as one of the best six books ever written about music, and was cited among the top five arts stories of the year by National Public Radio. The New Republic lauded her work as "the smartest and most constructive take on the situation" of classical music today, while Entertainment Weekly's featured book review described it as "a hoity-toity version of VH1's Behind the Music." It is currently optioned by actor Jason Schwartzman for a television series.
As a musician, Tindall has played principal oboe with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony; she presented her critically-acclaimed Carnegie Recital Hall solo debut recital in 1991 and has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. With skills in classical, pop, contemporary, and jazz styles, she has played the Blue Note Jazz Club with Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, recorded the famous "Gentlemen Prefer Hanes" pantyhose jingle, served as contracted oboist for the Broadway productions of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon and was singled out for her solo performance by CD Review magazine on the motion picture soundtrack of Spike Lee's Malcolm X.
While seeing the world as a touring musician, Tindall developed surprising interests outside the rarified air of concert halls. She has petted sharks 100 feet underwater as a certified scuba divemaster, is NRA pistol-certified, earned a technician-class amateur radio license, and has climbed 90-foot trees with her oboe as part of the National Geographic film, Branching Out. Her thirst for communication led to Tindall to a full scholarship at Stanford University in 1999, where she earned a journalism degree, later teaching at Stanford, the University of California-Berkeley, and Mills College while continuing her musical work. After her thesis on the Vietnamese press appeared in Harvard's Nieman Reports, Tindall wrote as staff business reporter for the Hearst San Francisco Examiner, and went on to write features for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Agence France-Presse, and Sierra magazine.
The recipient of fellowships at The MacDowell Colony, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and the Ucross Foundation, Tindall is completing her first work of fiction, Greenwashed. She recently returned from Bali, Indonesia, after shooting the pilot for her travel television series, Music To My Ears: Trekking the World Music Beat With Blair Tindall. She has also created and performed a one-woman show, Symphony for the Devil in Los Angeles at the 24th Street Theater, and also appears as a motivational speaker on college campuses and corporate seminars with her signature program, Flair for Genius. She has been a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (GRAMMY) since 1997.
Tindall has played under conductors Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Simon Rattle, Rafael Kubelik, Klaus Tennstedt, Zubin Mehta, Michael Tilson Thomas, Marin Alsop, John Nelson, Witold Lutoslawski, Julius Rudel, David Robertson, Joanne Faletta, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Erich Leinsdorf, Kurt Masur, Jeffrey Kahane, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Zdenek Macal, Blanche Honneger Moyse, Pierre Boulez, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Lukas Foss, Hugh Wolff, and many others.