Ever dreamed of hearing a periodontist play a piano concerto?
Me neither. Yesterday afternoon I got my chance to hear one and you know what? He was pretty good!
Thomas Yu, a periodontist from Calgary, played the final movement of the Saint-Saens Egyptian Piano concerto with a passion not usually heard in the playing of periodontists.
I freely admit he's the only periodontist I've ever heard play the piano, so maybe they're all knock-em-dead brilliant pianists. Ask yours to play for you at your next visit. I suspect, however, that Wu is one-of-a-kind.
The finals of the Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition were a fitting finale to a week of exceptional playing by remarkably accomplished performers. All are successful in their "real lives" but they also play the piano at a professional level. The doctors, Wu and Slavin, (Periodontist and retired Opthamologist, respectively) placed First and Second while the Aymonod, a strategy consultant placed third.
Listening to the competitors speaking, they all talked about how much music meant to them. Many of them had taken time away from the piano. My student, Janet, hadn't played for twenty-five years before returning a few years ago. Here's a picture from her final performance.
Now accomplished in wildly diverse careers, they just wanted to make music again.
I've talked to many people who studied when they were young want to continue studying and especially performing throughout their lives. I find it sad that many of the music teachers organizations focus so completely on the education of the young without supporting the transition from young student to adults who continue to play throughout their lives. This has been a focus of much of my teaching and I've loved helping these students continue to grow throughout their adult lives.
I had a chance to take a few pictures of the competitors at the finals. Such interesting and unlikely combinations.
Every note that was played at the competition is available to watch on YouTube. I'll leave you with the finals notes we heard at the competition. There wasn't much doubt what would happen after this thrilling performance. Enjoy.
P.S. It happens every four years. Is it time to start practicing?