From the Harvard Library to Fenway, Red Sox Organist Says He's Ready for Opener

On Friday, Joshua Kantor will take the day off from work. Instead of heading to Harvard, where he works as a part-time librarian assistant, Kantor will be starting the year at his other job: playing the organ for Boston’s beloved baseball team, the Red Sox.

Kantor has played for the current World Series championship team since 2003, and Friday is the first home game of the season. Early in the morning, he will walk the two miles from his house to Fenway Park to begin playing by the time the gates open for fans. Monday morning, Kantor will be back at Loeb Music Library, only to return to the stadium in the evening for another home game—a routine he will continue until the end of the season.

While many struggle to find the perfect work-life balance, Kantor, through his unconventional lifestyle, manages to bridge the gap between work and play on a daily basis.

JOURNEY TO FENWAY

Kantor, a talented musician and lifelong baseball fan, landed his dream job in 2003.

According to Kantor, he has been a self-proclaimed “baseball nut” since he was a child, first supporting the Atlanta Braves, then shifting allegiance to the Chicago White Sox during high school.

When he was 17, Kantor moved to Boston, and within his first week, he attended his first Red Sox game, where he witnessed the Red Sox beat the New York Yankees, 15-1. From that moment on, Kantor said, he has been a “diehard Red Sox fan.”

Similarly, he has had a passion for music from a young age. Aside from the organ, Kantor plays the piano, upright bass, guitar, and accordion.

Yet for many years before coming to Fenway, his primary job had little to do with music. After graduating from Brandeis University in 1994, Kantor worked as a librarian at Boston University’s law school for four years. In 1999, Kantor picked up a position at Harvard Law School’s library, serving as a reference and interlibrary loan assistant.

While working at the Law School, Kantor says he particularly enjoyed the one-on-one interactions he had with faculty, students, and members of outside groups when helping them locate sources.

Kyle Courtney, who worked with Kantor at the Law School, said Kantor “took real pride” in his work.

“He was on top of everything all the time,” said Courtney, who is now the copyright advisor in Harvard's Office for Scholarly Communication. “His knowledge combined with his skills was amazing.”

After almost a decade working at university libraries, Kantor was presented with an opportunity to unite his passions for music and baseball—while keeping the library job he loved.

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