Monday, September 28, 2009

A pianist after hours

Here is a story about the late Alicia de Larrocha y de la Calle, whom we paid tribute to the other day, from my friend Prof. G who is a font of all kinds of very useful knowledge. That is Alicia de Larrocha up above. I keep looking for a young picture of her but it is tough to find one. So that one will have to do.

I like her sparkly top and her pearls!

But back to Prof. G and his story. "The following story is true," writes the good professor, "but I can't reveal the source."

Fine! We like stories like that!

Take it, Professor.

A concert manager who had once hosted her in his city was visiting in a small finger lakes city where she was appearing. After the typically excellent concert, he went backstage to say hello and found out that no one had made arrangements to take her to dinner, or, for that matter, to do anything for her. She was going back to her hotel room for a bite to eat, nothing more.

The manager went to the conductor and asked whether he could take her out at his expense. The conductor and resident brass said fine. So he took her to dinner at a local restaurant where there was an upright piano. Talk got around to Granados and Madame de Larrocha went to the piano and played parts of Goyescas, among other things, for about an hour and a half (it was a slow business night). Punch line: When she and the concert manager were leaving, the restaurant's owner came over and said "Listen lady, if you ever need a job playing piano, come see me."

Ha, ha!

Quoth Prof. G:

I met Madame de Larrocha once and she confirmed the story and asked me to greet the manager is I ever saw him.

Lucky Miss De Larrocha, finding herself in conversation with our Prof. G.

With him you are never bored!


  1. A younger Alicia de Larrocha - probably from the 1960's, in performance of Ravel: Ondine from "Gaspard de la nuit".

  2. Prof. G. (in seclusion)September 28, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    i'm blushing. I think I was lucky to converse with Madame de Larrocha.