June 15, 2023
Recently, an employee from a local energy company came over to the house to discuss the possibility of installing solar panels. Once the location, number, and cost had been established, the conversation drifted to the more personal. The man asked me what kind of work I did, and I told him I was a musician, played classical music, and that my instrument was the violin. The man said he knew little about classical music but that his 3 1/2 year old daughter, Kaleah, was taking ballet lessons, and that he believed the music she danced to was classical.
Two weeks later, the man returned for my wife Dorothea and I to sign the solar panel contract we had agreed on. Once done, he smiled and said, “I looked you up on the internet, and found music you played by a composer named Weber”. This was undoubtedly the CD recorded by pianist Seymour Lipkin and me of Six Sonatas for Piano and Violin by Carl Maria von Weber. “When I played it”, he continued, “my daughter started dancing to the music. She absolutely loved it”.
I was, of course, delighted. How many 3 1/2 year olds have listened to me perform?
But the solar panel man was not finished. “When the music came to an end, I told Kaleah that I knew who was playing the violin on the recording. His name is Arnold Steinhardt”. “Is that a boy or a girl”, she asked. “He’s a boy, and not only that, he’s a grandfather with grandkids your age”. Kaleah’s father said his daughter thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I wan’t to meet him”.
So, Kaleah and her father are coming for a visit in the very near future. I wonder how it will go. Young children often have an attack of shyness when meeting someone for the very first time, but I doubt Kaleah will be like that. Any 3 1/2 year old who says, “I want to meet him,” with the poise and confidence I suspect Kaleah has, will not hide under her father’s arm.
I’ll not be surprised if Kaleah wants to see my violin. And once she does, she might ask me to play it. I could perform Brahms Hungarian Dance #5 for her. That’s so lively. Or something sweet from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. And who knows, Kaleah may like the music so much that she’ll begin dancing to it in our very own living room.
The possibilities seem endless.
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