Early life and education
Tindall was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to historian George Brown Tindall and Blossom Tindall. She started playing the piano at an early age and switched to oboe when joining the junior high school band; because of her surname's place in alphabetical order, she was the last person able to choose an instrument, and the only other one available was the bassoon. She attended high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, received bachelor and masters degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, and a masters in communication from Stanford University, which she attended on a full tuition fellowship. She also attended Columbia University.
Tindall spent 23 years as a professional musician in New York City, playing with such groups as the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, presenting a critically acclaimed solo debut at Carnegie Recital Hall, and earning a jazz Grammy nomination. She has also performed on many film soundtracks, including those of the movies Malcolm X, for which she was lauded in CD Review Magazine, Crooklyn and Twilight. She has also performed with Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts at the Blue Note jazz club.
Tindall taught journalism at Stanford and music at the University of California, Berkeley and Mills College. She has also received residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and the Ucross Foundation.
While studying at Stanford, Tindall supported herself by performing with the San Francisco Symphony and as a soloist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. During this time, she was also a staff business reporter at the Examiner (Hearst) and critic-at-large for the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek. She went on to write for The New York Times, Agence France-Presse, the Los Angeles Times, Sierra, The Sydney Morning Herald, and the International Herald Tribune.
In 2005, she published Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music (Atlantic Monthly Press), a memoir of her experiences in the classical music world, which National Public Radio named one of the top five arts stories of the year. Her book was also lauded by musicologist Richard Taruskin in The New Republic as "the smartest take on [the classical music] situation". In 2014, the book was adapted for an Amazon Studios web video series. The pilot was written by Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Alex Timbers, and directed by Paul Weitz. The series stars Malcolm McDowell, Saffron Burrows, Bernadette Peters, and Gael Garcia Bernal.
Tindall married Bill Nye on February 3, 2006. The ceremony was performed by Rick Warren at The Entertainment Gathering at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Yo-Yo Ma provided the music. Nye left the relationship seven weeks later when the marriage license was declared invalid. He filed a restraining order against Tindall after she entered their property to pour weed killer in his garden. Tindall admitted to emptying two bottles of weed killer in the garden and called the incident "a foolish, sophomoric act of poor judgment that was only intended to harm flowers, and certainly not people." She stated that she went to Nye's garden after watching an episode of Living With Ed in which "Bill commented that life would be perfect ... if only he had a woman with whom to share the house — a house I'd found, fixed up, and assumed I'd enjoy married life and motherhood as 'Mrs. Nye' within." Nye was granted a court order which required Tindall to stay 100 yards away from him. Tindall violated the order in 2009 and Nye took her back to court to enforce it. The court ordered her to cover $57,000 in Nye's legal expenses. In 2012 Nye sued Tindall for unpaid attorney's fees. According to Nye's court filings, she had not paid any of the $57,000 she was ordered to.
- "In Memoriam: George Brown Tindall" Journal of the American Historical Association
- Manhattan School of Music Alumni class notes
- World-----Press-Encyclopedia-Introduction/ World Press Encyclopedia
- "Blair Tindall Blows the Roof Off Classical Music's Dark Places," Stanford Magazine
- CD Universe Magazine, "John Faddis Remembrances CD"
- Oboe News, Journal of the International Double Reed Society
- Peter Haffner: Tindall: Mozart in the Jungle - Sex, Drugs and Classical Music. Wiener Zeitung, 2005-9-16
- Maya Glovinsky biography
- "Blair Tindall and the Classical Music Jungle; Morning Edition
- "The Musical Mystique" The New Republic, Oct. 22, 2007
- Ramey, Corinne (2013-12-06). "Amazon Studios' 'Mozart in the Jungle' Offers New View of Music World - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
- MSNBC. "Bill Nye, the Science Guy, gets hitched". Retrieved 2007-10-12.
- "Bill Nye's Withered Romance". CBS News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- "Bill Nye claims ex-fiancee tried to poison garden". USA Today. November 22, 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- Wilson, Kimberly A.C. (February 28, 2012). "Northwest News: 13-year-old escapes kidnapper near Grants Pass; Bill Nye heads back to court to force ex to pay restraining order legal fees". The Oreogonian. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- Rolph, Amy. "Bill Nye’s ex-girlfriend in court, says he was ‘the love of my life’". Seattle Post-Intellegencer. Hearst Seattle Media, LLC. Retrieved 9 August 2012.