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Martin Berkofsky
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Monday, 22 October 2007
Greatness in humility

I had only a month.  Hinako, Alan Hovhaness' wife had telephoned asking if I could record the Concerto No. 10 with the Seattle Symphony.  I asked her to send me the score as quickly as possible and promised to do my very best.  It was a lonely month of woodshedding.

I drove straight from the Seattle airport to the Hovhaness' home, armed with questions about the score, asking as many as possible and using every delay and stalling tactic which I could invent to postpone the inevitable, having to play this newly-learned concerto for Alan's scrutiny.

The moment of truth could not be denied any further.  I nervously launched into my fresh-from-the-woodshed efforts, arrived at the last note and holding my breath, prepared for a storm of criticism.

Only one gentle comment from Alan followed: "Thank you for playing my music."  How could I have imagined anything else from someone so humble in his greatness?

Posted by cristoforifund at 8:09 AM EDT
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