Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My friend Philippe

I got to talk on the phone the other day with Philippe Quint. He is the violinist who got a lot of unwanted publicity about a year ago because a cab pulled away from the curb, taking with it the Stradivarius violin Quint had on loan from Buffalo couple Clement and Karen Arrison.

There is a story I am working on related to all this, which is going to run Sunday and I will go ahead and link to it then, should anyone want to check it out. Which I would suggest. It is a goodie and I worked hard on it!

For now there is one thing neat about Quint that I want to report.

I got in touch with Philippe, which he cued me that I could call him, by email. "I interviewed you a couple of years ago," I wrote. "I don't expect you to remember."

But he did remember! He wrote me back:

Not only I remember the wonderful you conducted a few years ago I also want to thank you for your article back when the taxi fiasco happened. I think it was called " musicians in the fast lane". It was the only real sincere article of support coming to musician's defense while the rest of the publications were looking for some sensational new material and details that were arguably hurting me and the chances of violin's return.

So this is a thank you for your kindness!!

Wow, I had almost forgotten I had written about that incident on The Buffalo News' Artsbeat blog! Here it is, complete with creepy comment from anonymous reader who clearly did not appreciate the story as much as Philippe Quint did. For some reason almost all the comments I get on that blog are nasty! It has gotten to the point where I dread reading them and sometimes I do not.

On the other hand it amazes me and gladdens me that Philippe Quint saw it, and that it gave him some comfort at a stressed-out time in his life.

I have to say it again ... I love the Internet age.

Here is a neat glimpse of Quint and William Wolfram, a pianist I like a lot, recording music by the great Miklos Rozsa. I have been reading a lot of Rozsa's letters working on my book on Leonard Pennario. It has gotten so I am familiar with his handwriting and his stationery! He feels like a friend.

What a beautiful sonata!

I would guess that Quint is playing the famous Strad.

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