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Albert Schweitzer - the organ anyway
the current pope
George Sand
James Cagney
Fred Gwynne



Oscar Wilde??? Anyone know whether he played or not? I'd like to know because of his famous Chopin quotation.


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Here's the photo of Richard Nixon playing the piano. Looks like a sensitive guy, doesn't he? The photo is by Philip Halsman.

Tomasino


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"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

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Tomasino, I believe we can see in that photograph Nixon illustrating his execution of "arm-drop."

Oh, we know Ansel Adams owned a Mason & Hamlin grand...presumably that means he played?

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Clint Eastwood is an excellent jazz pianist and a generous patron of jazz pianism.

He produced and directed a piano blues documentary, shows up at various festivals, and has even composed music for some of his movies. (The scene with him at the piano in "In the Line of Fire" is actually him playing the piano.)

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,307206,00.html


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Actress Alicia Witt won piano competitions as a teenager including the Bartok-Kabalevsky.
Writer Carson McCullers was supposed to study at Julliard when she was 17 but lost her tuition.


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Originally Posted by DameMyra
....Writer Carson McCullers was supposed to study at Julliard when she was 17 but lost her tuition.

BTW, is she still well known? Haven't heard of her in years. When I was in school, her novel The Member of the Wedding was often an assigned book. I'd guess it isn't any more. I didn't know she had been a pianist, also didn't know she wrote The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter which I just learned when I looked her up.

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Judy Collins studied classical piano as a youngster and exhibited significant talent. She gave it up in favor of folk music.

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by DameMyra
....Writer Carson McCullers was supposed to study at Julliard when she was 17 but lost her tuition.

BTW, is she still well known? Haven't heard of her in years. When I was in school, her novel The Member of the Wedding was often an assigned book. I'd guess it isn't any more. I didn't know she had been a pianist, also didn't know she wrote The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter which I just learned when I looked her up.


I don't know if her books are still assigned in schools. Most people that I know who are true "readers" are familiar with both The Member of the Wedding and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.

I love the quote on Wikipedia by the great Graham Greene: "Mrs. McCullers and perhaps Mr. Faulkner are the only writers since the death of D. H. Lawrence with an original poetic sensibility. I prefer Mrs. McCullers to Mr. Faulkner because she writes more clearly; I prefer her to D. H. Lawrence because she has no message."

I reread both novels every few years.


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Hugh Laurie 3hearts

His "Let Them Talk" album is quite to my liking... especially along with some whiskey..

Last edited by Pogorelich.; 08/30/12 12:40 AM. Reason: brain damage


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Edit Reason: brain damage

You do better without a brain than most of us do with. ha

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
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Edit Reason: brain damage

You do better without a brain than most of us do with. ha


Hahahhah... it's just damaged, doesn't mean the useless thing isn't still there..



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Originally Posted by RealPlayer

Oh, we know Ansel Adams owned a Mason & Hamlin grand...presumably that means he played?

From Wikipedia...
"Adams taught himself piano at age twelve. Music became the main focus of his later youth. Possessing an eidetic memory, he quickly learned to read music and play the piano. Soon he was taking lessons, and the ardent pursuit of music became his substitute for formal schooling. One of his childhood tutors was composer Henry Cowell.[15] For the next dozen years, the piano was Adams's primary occupation and, by 1920, his intended profession. Although he ultimately gave up music for photography, the piano brought substance, discipline, and structure to his frustrating and erratic youth. Moreover, the careful training and exacting craft required of a musician profoundly informed his visual artistry, as well as his influential writings and teachings on photography."

Ansel Adams gave the commencement address at my college graduation in 1968. At the time I barely knew he was a photographer, much less a pianist !! The man obviously had good taste in pianos !! grin


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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Kreisler
Clint Eastwood


And a singer. (Paint your Wagon) laugh


And a composer (for one of the recent movies he directed, I think).

Orson Welles was a pianist. I think that his mom was a professional pianist too.

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Originally Posted by tomasino
Here's the photo of Richard Nixon playing the piano. Looks like a sensitive guy, doesn't he?


Playing the piano may have been Nixon's only redeeming quality.

Here are a couple of stories about our two piano-playing presidents. I heard them during a 2006 cruise on the Presidential yacht Sequoia. The yacht, de-commissioned by Jimmy Carter shortly after he took office in 1977, was sold at auction to an investment group. They still make it available to Presidents from time to time (Clinton and the Bushes have been frequent users), but the rest of the time they charter it out to business groups for waterborne parties. This is how I got aboard, not because I've been a drinking pal of any President.

The first story is about President Truman. Truman was an enthusiastic poker player who hated to lose. One night, he bet a large sum on what turned out to be a losing hand and was so angry that he picked up a large knife from a dinner platter and put a 12” scar in the top of the yacht’s main dining table. When Queen Elizabeth II came to visit Eisenhower years later, she asked where the scar came from and was amused at the explanation.

Here’s some additional information about the famous row Mr. Truman had with the music critic who trashed his daughter’s singing at a Washington concert. The text of Paul Hume’s review (excerpted) and Truman’s letter to him are posted on the Truman Library’s web site. Hume wrote in part that "Miss Truman is a unique American phenomenon with a pleasant voice of little size and fair quality. [She) cannot sing very well, is flat a good deal of the time (more last night than at any time we have heard her in past years), has not improved in the years we have heard her . . . [and] still cannot sing with anything approaching professional finish." The President replied: “Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below! [Westbrook] Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you'll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.” Every father should aspire to such loyalty to his children. What a guy.

The other stories relate to Nixon. He had a spinet piano installed on the yacht which he played often for guests. On the night before he resigned, he belted out a rousing chorus of “God Bless America.” Nixon fancied himself a real wine connoisseur, and he was very proud of the fact that as President, he could order up a $250 bottle of vintage French Bordeaux whenever he wanted it. But his largesse did not extend to his guests. Wine stewards on the Sequoia were instructed to pour the “taster’s taste” into Nixon’s glass first, taking great care to show off the label so all could see that it was very French and very expensive. He then instructed them to go back into the galley, open up a bottle of cheap table wine, wrap it in a towel so the guests would think they were getting the same good stuff as the President, then fill (and refill) all their glasses with the same cheap swill all night. What a turkey.

Finally, a reminder of Nixon’s reputation for foreign policy mastery. When the time came for us to eat dinner on the cruise, the tables on the upper deck filled up quickly, so four of us took seats on the fantail (the lower deck on the back of the ship). As one of the stewards was refilling our glasses, he told us that we were sitting on the same part of the ship where Nixon, Brezhnev and their two interpreters had sat for several days in 1972 while they negotiated the terms of the first nuclear arms reduction treaty.

This was easily one of the most memorable nights of my life. And it was gratifying to see where playing the piano can get you.




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Originally Posted by Emanuel Ravelli

Here’s some additional information about the famous row Mr. Truman had with the music critic who trashed his daughter’s singing at a Washington concert. The text of Paul Hume’s review (excerpted) and Truman’s letter to him are posted on the Truman Library’s web site. Hume wrote in part that "Miss Truman is a unique American phenomenon with a pleasant voice of little size and fair quality. [She) cannot sing very well, is flat a good deal of the time (more last night than at any time we have heard her in past years), has not improved in the years we have heard her . . . [and] still cannot sing with anything approaching professional finish." The President replied: “Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below! [Westbrook] Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you'll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.” Every father should aspire to such loyalty to his children. What a guy.


This is great. I knew Truman called Paul Hume an SOB, but apparently he did it indirectly, and in a much more subtle, artistic and nuanced manner--as only befits a man of his stature--by the unfavorable comparison of the music critic, Paul Hume, to Westbrook Pegler, a highly reviled hater of the New Deal, and further commenting that the comparison is worse than "a reflection on your ancestry."

And you're right. "Every father should aspire to such loyalty to his children." He can't be all bad.

Tomasino


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I can't believe that nobody has mentioned Cindy Elizondo (Miss Gulf Coast / White Settlement)!

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Did anyone mention Chico Marx? William Golding was supposedly a fine Beethoven player. Thomas Jefferson was also apparently a capable pianist and tuner(http://wiki.monticello.org/mediawiki/index.php/Piano).

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Originally Posted by beet31425
Actors:

Dudley Moore
Sean Hayes
Jeff Goldblum


Dudley Moore was a musician first.

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Edward Heath - the British Prime Minister was an Organist.
An Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.

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Originally Posted by Firefinch
Edward Heath - the British Prime Minister was an Organist.
An Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.

Yikes, forgot all about that one! blush

But that did remind me that Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982 (had to look up the dates) was a very fine amateur pianist, even recording the Mozart 3 Piano Concerto (the 'easy' piano part) for DG.


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