IMPORTANT: Before you read on, make sure you’ve read part one of this post here.
So what did you think of that 90 seconds of music? Would you give it a 10? An 8? A 5? A 3?
Keep your score in mind, and then watch this video, from which the audio excerpt you listened to was taken:
What do you think now? Would you rate what you heard any differently?
I just learned about this pianist — Leon Fleisher — at a retreat I attended over the weekend. He was born in 1928 and began studying piano at age 4. At age 8, he made his public debut and at age 16 performed with the New York Philharmonic. He was once called “the pianistic find of the century.”
Then a mysterious condition took away the use of his right hand. Rather than give up, he learned to play with just his left hand, which is what you saw above. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? I can’t play piano that well with two hands!
Leon always dreamed of playing with both hands again and it finally happened. In 2004, he released a new recording appropriately titled, Two Hands.
If you’d like to learn more about Leon and his powerful story, his memoir titled Nine Lives releases next month.
My question to you is — since I said this was like a “choose your own ending” book — what is your takeaway from this? There are a few things that come to my mind, but I’d like to hear your comments first! Please leave a note below.