As far as I can
remember, I have always been surrounded by
music and musicians.
At age three when my parents would put a 78
disc on the pick-up within seconds I was
able to identify the piece, the composer and
the artist. Beethoven’s Fifth by Arturo
Toscanini, Tchaikovsky’s First piano
concerto by Vladimir Horowitz, Mendelssohn’s
violin concerto by Jascha Heifetz.
Unfortunately I did not hear them” live”,
but from age six I attended most of the
concerts and heard all the legendary
musicians of last century. This included
violinists David Oïstrakh, Yehudi Menuhin,
Nathan Milstein, Leonid Kogan, Isaac Stern,
Henryk Szeryng, Arthur Grumiaux and Zino
Francescatti to name a few. Pianists Artur
Rubinstein, Wilhelm Kempff, Rudolf Serkin,
Claudio Arrau ,Sviatoslav Richter, Emil
Gilels, Gyorgy Cziffra, Annie Fischer.
I heard the
first appearance in the West of young
Mstislav Rostropovich as well as the great
cellists like Pierre Fournier, Leonard Rose,
Paul Tortelier, Maurice Gendron, Antonio
Janigro, Danil Shafran. And the greatest
conductors with their orchestras, André
Cluytens, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy,
Georg Solti, Leonard Bernstein, Rafaël
Kubelik, Herbert Von Karajan, Carlo Maria
I was always interested in meeting them and
talk to these fascinating musicians. People
around me have often suggested that I should
write a book with all the anecdotes.
I heard Martha
Argerich, Daniël Barenboïm and Evgeny Kissin
at the very beginning of their career, and
also Gidon Kremer, Vadim Repin, Maxim
Vengerov and Nikolaj Znaider and was
straightaway convinced that their talent was
on a different level.
Each of them had a strong personality, a
unique sound that one could immediately
recognize and an incredible way to
communicate their emotions in music.
organized concerts for Charities with the
new legends of the century.
Itzhak Perlman, Gidon Kremer, Vladimir
Spivakov, Mischa Maïsky, Maxim Vengerov…with
whom I have close ties.
When I met my
wife, a great music lover, we shared our
passion and completed our different taste.
She introduced me to the world of Jazz that
I ignored until then. We became host family
of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, and
hosted young musicians for many years. All
our musicians made a successful career,
regardless from the outcome of the
Competition. Our house was always filled
with music and musicians. All our children
learned music. I was secretly hoping to have
a family trio.
Only our youngest son, Leonard, became a
professional violinist. I have always been
his “toughest” and “hardest” critic.
The two others are active music lovers.