Friday, January 8, 2010


Today my Facebook friend Jeffrey Biegel wrote that he had found himself twice driving behind the great piano technician Franz Mohr, pictured above. I listened up because first of all I had interviewed Mohr for my Leonard Pennario book, and second of all I had liked his book "My Life With the Great Pianists."

On Amazon the three amateur reviewers rip the book apart because of Mohr's emphasis on his religion, which is born-again Christian.

Me, I liked that aspect. It is not exactly my religion -- I am Catholic -- but I got a kick out of it, how Mohr kept trying to convert all the Jewish pianists. It was just funny. And it gave you an angle on them you would not get from anyone else, that was for sure.

Rubinstein saying: "The Son of God? Forget it!"

Do I have that right? I'm not sure. What is funny is Mohr always waiting in the wings, writing, "I had asked the Lord to give me an opportunity to talk to Horowitz about my faith," etc. It just never ended. It was like the joke of the book. I really enjoyed it.

These reviewers are so uptight.

Being from Buffalo I loved one story Mohr told about how Glenn Gould was detained on the Peace Bridge which is our bridge to Canada. He had to call and explain, "They won't let me in because of all the pills."

Ha, ha!

Lots of fun, in that book.

Mohr was nice to me when I called, by the way, which was out of the blue, when he was on his way to the airport.

That says worlds.


  1. Yeah, the quote's right, but the first part was Rubinstein telling Franz Mohr that he considered Jesus Christ the greatest Jew that ever lived.

  2. Oh, yes, that's right. "But the Son of God? Forget it!" Hahahahahaaa!

  3. Love it! Well, we sometimes rub elbows at the local pizza place in Valley Stream too! It's a very small world!

  4. Jeffrey, you should sit down with Franz Mohr and a large pizza and just get him talking! That sounds like fun.

  5. I'm wondering whether you might know the name of the WQXR program that used the waltz from Der Rosenkavalier as its theme song. This is for a memoir I'm writing. Thanks,
    Helen Epstein