Blogger of the year


omeone who writes a blog (= a regular record of someone's ideas, opinions



Even at six, Jackie was a conduit for music to pour through.She had the kind of radical confidence about her own highly personal expression that people acquire when they understand that performance is not about getting your act together, but about opening up to the energy of the audience and of the music, and letting it sing in your unique voice.He played his pieces through with elegance and accuracy.It was playing of an absolutely professional standard, the kind of performance that would, I told him, gain him entry into the ranks of an orchestra.However, it lacked flair and the characteristics of true leadership—not only command of color, intensity, drive, and passion, but the energy to take people beyond where they would normally go.We started work on the pieces—I played the piano, sang, coaxed, and urged him on until his rather formal restraint broke down, and he began to play from the heart and throw all his passion and energy into the soaring passages of the Dvorak Concerto.In the middle of one of his most impassioned utterances, I stopped him and said, There, that’s it.If you play that way, they won’t be able to resist you.You will be a compelling force behind which everyone will be inspired to play their best. He wiped the sweat from his brow and from his cello, and we retired to the kitchen for a spaghetti dinner and a bottle of good red wine.As he left the house that night, I shouted behind him, Remember, Marius, play it the second way! I will! he called back.Three weeks later he telephoned.How did it go, Marius? I was eager to know.Oh, he said, I didn’t make it.What happened? I asked, as I prepared to console him.You will have other chances. In my mind I vowed to work with him further on releasing his enormous capacity for expression.But it turned out that he had discovered how to break through the gates himself.No, no, no, he said.You haven’t heard the whole story.I was so peesed off, I said, ‘Fock it, I’m going to Madrid to play the audition for the principal cellist in the orchestra there!’—and I won it, at twice the salary of the other job.What happened? I asked again, in amazement.Zander,I got my A because I am such a special and bright artist.A real artist of human life.The most precious treasure of whole my body is the endless passion of life.Where is the electric socket for possibility, the access to the energy of transformation? It’s just there over the bar line, where the bird soars.I asked my mother how long he would be gone, and she assured me I would see him the next evening.Your father has some things he wants to discuss with a gentleman in Glasgow.They will have breakfast in the Glasgow Railway Station, and then he will take the next train back to London.Is it a special friend of his? I asked, but was told that the gentleman was no one I knew, and someone with whom my father had only a brief acquaintance.I think I was about eight or nine at the time.Later I asked him why he had not used the telephone.Adopting the stance in which he gave life lessons—eyebrows raised, eyes shining, and, I believe, index finger pointing, my father said, Certain things in life are better done in person.This train journey and my father’s lesson seemed mysterious and wonderful to me as a child, and took hold in my imagination.The organizer of the festival suggested that I try to engage the world’s greatest cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich, to play the cello concerto that Henri Dutilleux had written specifically for him.As Rostropovich and I were acquaintances, I called his assistant in Washington in October, mentioned the date in April, and asked whether Slava would be available.The assistant, with a markedly disdainful air, said, Are you referring to this coming April?There is no possible chance he could consider this. I then asked if I might call Slava directly, as I thought his deep love of the 98 Views