Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Ratna Ling

Further adventures in Paradise

Last week I wrote about the Apollo Academy, a wonderful four-day retreat at a facility called “Ratna Ling” located in the coastal mountains of Northern California’s Sonoma County. The Academy – the brainchild of a surgeon and cellist named Bill Moores – focuses on “mind/body synchronization that enhances mental and physical health. Optional sessions include immersion in the natural environment, poetry-writing, yoga, and the role of seasonal foods.” Yes, lovely and all very well-and-good, though the heart and soul of the Academy is chamber music. Open to performers and non-musician auditors alike, this year’s program was entitled “String Quartet Masterpieces of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms.” These quartet masterworks were performed by the Alexander String Quartet with yours truly acting as host and lecturer.   Here’s how our concert-presentations worked: Each of our three sessions was delivered in two parts: for an hour before dinner (4:30pm-5:30pm) and hour-and-a-half after dinner (6:30pm-8:00pm). On day one (September 6), we presented a program entitled “The Mendelssohn Conundrum”, during which I discussed and the ASQ performed Mendelssohn’s String Quartets in A Minor, Op. 13 (of 1827); F Minor, Op. 80 (of 1847) and excerpts from his String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 44 (of 1837).   […]

Continue Reading

Reporting from the Apollo Academy and Ratna Ling

I returned on Sunday, September 9 from a four-day retreat called the “Apollo Academy for Health and Humanism.” It was held at a magnificent facility called “Ratna Ling” in the coastal mountains of northern Sonoma County, about three miles east of the Pacific Ocean.   The following is going to sound like a sales pitch. IT IS NOT A SALES PITCH. It is, rather, an attempt to set the stage for what was, primarily, a musical retreat at one of the coolest places I’ve ever been privileged to visit. Ratna Ling means “land of jewels” in Tibetan, and was so-named by its founder, the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche because of his vision that the precious jewels of the teachings brought from Tibet would touch hearts and open minds. Visit their site at Touch hearts and open minds his teachings have done, but the designation “precious jewel” applies equally to the facility itself. Set on 100 acres, Ratna Ling consists of the main lodge, which houses all of the retreat facilities; 14 two-bedroom “cabins” (which are, in fact, luxurious, beautifully furnished roughly 1200 square-foot homes with fully appointed kitchens, air conditioning, etc.); and a wellness center for massage […]

Continue Reading