Diana Ross, WBJC’s website maestra, has asked us to write about our earliest musical experience, inspired by the moving stories that have been coming in from our members.
My mother’s sister was a fine pianist by all accounts (she died when I was young so I could never form my own opinion) and my mother had grown up listening to her sister practicing all day and every day. As a result, we had music playing pretty much all the time in our home when I was growing up. The first time I remember actually hearing music in my own right was when I was working at the dining room table one day and my mother was playing Sviatoslav Richter’s performance of Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata. When it got to the exquisite second movement I just stopped, motionless, and listened enraptured.
Soon after that I heard a symphony orchestra live for the first time when I went to hear the Cape Town Symphony. It seemed magical to me to be able to watch as well as hear the music being made, because I had only ever heard it on recordings before. I was captivated from that moment and have never looked back. Marrying a professional French horn player and watching him play in orchestras helped too!