Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The student of Horowitz

The pianist Byron Janis has a byline! He was in today's Wall Street Journal talking about his teachers and how they promoted his creativity. That is a picture up above of Byron Janis with babes.

That is a cool name, you know, Byron Janis? Byron as in George Gordon, Lord Byron. Janis as in Joplin.


It is funny that no matter how old certain pianists get they are always identified forever and ever by who their teachers were. No one ever thinks about Byron Janis without thinking that he was taught by Vladimir Horowitz. So this whole Wall Street Journal story, you are waiting to see when he gets around to talking about Horowitz.

Which he does. He says Horowitz told him, "You want to be a first Janis, not a second Horowitz."

I wonder if that could ever come to pass. Whenever I think of Byron Janis all I think of is that he studied with Horowitz. That is the danger of having this big-name teacher.

I wonder what Byron Janis would have turned into without Horowitz. I mean, he still would have been good, right? You would think.

But he may have been different.

And when you heard his name, Horowitz would not be the first thing you would think of.

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